A window washer who was working 5 stories above the street in the Tribeca section of Manhattan was killed today. He plunged to his death while attempting to wash the windows of an upscale apartment building. The worker was not wearing a fall protection device at the time he fell.
The worker, whose name has not been released, was leaning out of a window on the 5th floor at 335 Greenwich St. when he fell.
At Block, O’Toole & Murphy, our lawyers often mention fall protection equipment. One type of fall protection safety equipment is a harness. There are many different classes of harnesses but the objective remains the same: keep the worker from falling, thus reducing the likelihood of a workplace fatality or serious injury. Practically speaking, a harness arrests a person as they begin to fall, suspending them in the air rather than allowing them to crash to the ground.
There are many occupations that use safety harnesses. The jobs tend to be the most dangerous ones and usually involve people who labor at great heights. They include, among others, roofers, construction workers, crane operators, bridge painters, carpenters, electricians and sandhogs. Harnesses are perhaps never more important than when commercial window washers are asked to do their jobs while working on a skyscraper in a place like Manhattan. Few workers are more vulnerable than a window washer laboring above the unforgiving pavements of New York City. Today is a painful reminder of that.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and loved ones who lost someone they care deeply about today. There will be a thorough investigation into how and why this tragedy occurred.
Let’s hope that the investigation leads to the truth about whether this worker was provided a safe opportunity to perform his job today.
Was he asked to work 5 stories above the ground without the proper fall protection? It wouldn’t be the first time this year, if it were true. It wouldn’t be the first time this month, if it were true. It happens every day, the without fail. It generally happens to the people least able to speak up for themselves. Our laws concerning workplace safety are supposed to be society’s loudest voice, standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. This tragic accident is a reminder to all of us that we must remain vigilant about worker safety and the laws pertaining to worker safety.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that prides itself on fighting for working women and men. We understand and appreciate how an accident can devastate the spirit of an individual and the cohesiveness of a family. We have a proud tradition of taking on fights on behalf of injured workers, no matter how big the adversary is. Our record speaks for itself: more than $850 million in verdicts and settlements for our injured clients. You can find out more about this law firm and its talented lawyers by reviewing the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. You may also contact them now at 212.736.5300.