Too often we highlight instances where workers are exploited because they did not receive the proper safety equipment. Too often when that happens, the consequences are tragic and lives are lost. But today, we are pleased to report about a story coming out of Texas where the life of a bridge worker was spared because he actually was provided and properly used a safety harness. The safety harness saved his life.
A bridge worker fell off of the catwalk on the 610 E. Loop Bridge in Texas. He was left dangling 135 feet above water for hours before being rescued by emergency personnel from the local fire department. The man – a Texas Department of Transportation contractor – was working at the time of his fall. Luckily for him he was equipped with and properly wearing a safety harness which prevented him from violently plunging into the water below and saved his life.
Safety harnesses should be available and used when workers are required to perform their job responsibilities at an elevated height. A safety harness will prevent someone from falling when it is used properly. Safety harnesses are often not provided because they make it more challenging for a worker to perform their duties in an expeditious way. It becomes a tug-of-war between finishing the job fast and finishing the job safe. Too often, worker safety loses that fight.
This is a story with a happy ending because this worker was provided with the appropriate safety equipment. It’s not clear whether he considers himself lucky after the obviously harrowing experience he just endured but he is. He is alive and able to return safely to his family. He will be able to work another day.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is committed to helping promote worker safety. They have recovered more than $850,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients. You may learn more about the firm by reviewing the website at www.blockotoole.com.