I recall blogging about this accident and I believe the worker fell into the water tower, not outside of it. I could be wrong but I don't think so. Allow me to do a quick search, and yes I did blog about it on May 7, 2009 and I see there was another incident on November 9, 2008 as well as March 25, 2009 in Dallas Center.
Groundskeeper and Maintenance Workers | Lombardi Law Firm Nov 9, 2008... Another water tower fall by worker, but this time in Waterloo, Iowa. .... Groundskeeping workers mow, water, fertilize, and aerate the ... www.lombardilaw.com/.../groundskeeper-and-maintenance-workers.cfm - Cached - Similar
Waterloo, Iowa maintenance worker falls into water tank | Lombardi ... May 7, 2009 ... We have previously reported on a maintenance worker falling from a water tower into the tower itself. Today we report on another incident in ...www.lombardilaw.com/.../waterloo-iowa-maintenance-worker-falls-into-water-tank.cfm - Cached
Maintenance workers and use of a safety harness | Lombardi Law Firm Mar 25, 2009 ... A maintenance worker welding on the water tower in Dallas Center could have used a harness to save him when he fell of a ladder while ... www.lombardilaw.com/.../maintenance-workers-and-use-of-a-safety-harness-20090325.cfm - Cached
The biggest question I had was about fall arrest or fall protection gear. This is a common problem, so common that it makes OSHA's top ten list. [Let's Look At The Top Ten OSHA Fines | Lombardi Law Firm ] Where was his lanyard? Was one given to him? Was he properly trained? Who was supervising? Why didn't the supervisor stop the work? Working inside a water tower has elements of two kinds of claims I see quite often. The first type requires fall protection (fall arrest gear) and the second confined space safety procedures. If the worker falls into the water then he may need someone close by to pull him out and to a place of safety. Without seeing the drawings of what the inside of that water tower looks like I'm at a loss to say more. Just know this is the kind of accident that is preventable if the right safety procedures are followed.
I've got many posts about fall protection on the Lombardi Law Firm site and also on The Iowa Edict.