A construction worker was killed today when he fell while working on an oceanfront property in tony East Hampton. The unidentified male worker, who was 55 years old, was from Ronkonkoma, New York. He was working on a property on Further Lane that was part of a record breaking $147 million sale, reported to be the most expensive sale of its kind in United States history.
The deceased was working on the 2nd floor of the construction site this morning when he lost his balance. Tragically, he fell 12 feet to an unforgiving concrete floor below. Emergency personnel raced to the scene and attempted to rush the victim to Southampton Hospital. It was there where he was pronounced dead. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those that loved the deceased.
People looking at a tragedy like this will naturally wonder, “Why did this happen?”. One of the crucial factors that investigators will seek to determine is whether the appropriate fall protection was provided to this worker. Fall protection will typically arrest a worker when they lose their balance and start to descend from the area where they were working. At this juncture, it is not clear whether the failure to provide fall protection played a role in this accident. Suffice to say, when properly used, fall protection saves lives. Equally as accurate, fall protection is often something that developers, property owners and general contractors, entities in charge of construction site safety, ignore because it interferes with the fastest way to complete a project. Was this accident another example of profits being prioritized over people? Time will tell . . .
It is widely reported; yet still a fairly well-kept secret that falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Statistics reveal that nearly 300 fatal falls take place, on average, per year. This is out of a total of approximately 800 total fatalities that occur annually in the construction industry. More than one third of the deaths at construction sites are fatal falls. Many of these death are preventable.
If you have been involved in a construction accident, here are some helpful tips.
(If you have been involved in a construction accident, these are some helpful tips.
Every year OSHA conducts a Fall Prevention Campaign. They try to instill in developers, contractors and workers the notion that fatal falls can be eliminated and lives can be saved if 3 simple steps are followed:
Much of this is just exercising common sense. Planning to accomplish a job in a safe manner sounds simple enough. Supervisors must properly plan projects to ensure that work from heights, typically on ladders, scaffolds and roofs, should be done safely. Plan how the job will be done, what specifically will be involved, and what the appropriate equipment will be to do the job the right way.
Providing includes making sure that the right equipment is available to all workers. It also means having the appropriate personnel, both, in skill and in numbers at the job site. Different safety devices are appropriate for certain jobs. Make sure you have the right equipment. Also, not everyone has the same experience level. Make sure that you have the appropriate level of experience at a particular job.
Training is an elementary concept that is too often ignored. Fatal falls are often the result of a failure to appreciate the means and methods in which safety devices are set up and used. Well-trained workers will be able to identify the right equipment, the proper way to set it up and the soundest way for it to be used. Ignoring this component of the OSHA trio will lead to serious accidents. There is no substitute for time and experience on the job along with strong training.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is w ell known for its commitment to helping construction workers throughout New York State. The Construction Accident Attorneys at the firm have a long and storied history representing construction workers and their families. You can see a sampling of their history of success helping construction workers at this link.
The lawyers take pride in standing up for a person who sustained a serious injury or for a family who lost a loved one simply because they went to work that day. For a free consultation you can call them now at 212.736.5300.