A construction employee was working at a Bronx public housing development when he reportedly slipped and fell from scaffolding. The 25-year-old worker hit the pavement after falling 15-feet and suffered severe head trauma, according to police who found him unconscious. He later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.
In this particular case, complaints had been made that the scaffolding did not meet building codes, and the Department of Buildings has issue a violation against the city of New York, which owns the property.
What this incident highlights is a string of deadly falls at construction sites. Falls are the primary cause of construction worker fatalities, responsible for one-third of workplace injury deaths. What this means is that annually, 200 construction workers are killed and over 10,000 are injured by falls like the recent one that took place in the Bronx. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the trend is increasing.
A national campaign has been initiated to prevent falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolding through bringing greater attention to potential fall hazards. The DOL likewise emphasizes the dangers of unprotected openings and holes in flooring, as well as scaffolds without proper guardrail systems. To better ensure the safety of scaffolding, workers exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more are required to use a personal fall arrest system that includes an anchored body harness.
Other dangers include unguarded protruding steel bars that may impale workers or cause them to stumble. Even portable ladders can represent a falling hazard if not positioned so that they do not slip from their supports.
Falls kill or injure many workers in New York, so if you’re dealing with this issue, speak with a dedicated construction accident attorney at [ln::firm_name] right away.