In cities like New York City, construction workers encounter numerous daily hazards. In many cases, construction workers are forced to work several hundreds of feet off the ground atop scaffolding or in partially constructed high-rise buildings. From these heights, one wrong move or misstep may result in a worker falling to his or her death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 35 percent of the 828 construction worker deaths in 2013 were related to falls. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that employers within the construction industry implement certain fall-safety measures when workers are working at heights of six or more feet, some fail to abide by such regulations.
For a construction worker the wide implementation of fall protection equipment like guardrails, safety nets and personal fall arrest systems can mean the difference between life and death. Of the eight reported construction worker fatalities that occured in New York City last year, six were fall-related.
Most recently the New York Daily News reported on the death of a 25-year-old construction worker who fell down an elevator shaft. The fatal accident occured when the man and a co-worker were working to install doors on an elevator at a luxury high-rise hotel development.
The accident occured when the elevator car in which the two men were traveling stalled, forcing both workers to attempt to jump to safety. Tragically, the deceased worker slipped and fell backwards, plunging several hundred feet down the elevator shaft. Upon inspecting the building after the accident, inpsectors from the Department of Buildings cited the elevator company for safety violations.
Source: NY City Lens, “Construction Fatalities Are On the Rise,” Seema Somshekar, May 24, 2015