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Construction Worker at LaGuardia Saved by Safety Harness

A construction worker is lucky to be alive after a fall from a third-floor landing at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, January 21, 2020. It all happened around 10 a.m. at the new Delta terminal, when an unidentified worker fell approximately 10 feet from the third floor to the second floor. Authorities said it was his safety harness that saved him, stopping him short just inches above the second floor. The worker suffered a cut to his head after the harness whipped him back before being lowered to the ground. The victim was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital and his injury was not said to be life-threatening.

Falls are considered one of the most common causes of construction fatalities. In fact, in 2018 there were 320 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities, accounting for 33.5% of all construction-related deaths. Falls can happen from roofs, ladders, scaffolding, or through temporary roofing. Many times, these deaths and accidents can be avoided with the proper training and protection. Proper fall protection includes:

  • Using safety harnesses
  • Using guardrails and netting
  • Following safety procedures to avoid defective extension cords or tripping hazards
  • Maintaining clean and orderly job sites
  • Adhering to site safety regulations that protect the public from hazardous conditions

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are three simple steps to preventing falls in the workplace

  • PLAN ahead to get the job done
  • PROVIDE the right equipment 
  • TRAIN everyone to use the equipment correctly and safely

The construction worker in Thursday's incident is alive thanks in part to his safety harness. Had he not been wearing one, the outcome could have been a lot worse. It is important to note that workers have the right to a safety harness; one should always use one when working above a six-foot drop and always be connected to a lifeline.

The construction accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy understand the risks involved when working from extreme heights. We have handled numerous cases involving falls, including a $12,000,000 settlement for a Local 147 tunnel worker who fell 40 feet into a ventilation shaft while working on a subway extension project, suffering serve orthopedic and neurologic injuries. Other notable construction fall results include:

  • $12,000,000 settlement for a Local 147 tunnel worker injured in a fall at a subway extension project, suffering a fracture to both arms, legs, and his pelvis
  • $11,000,000 settlement for a masonry foreman who fell three stories after stepping on an unsecured temporary cover, sustaining pelvic and spinal injuries
  • $10,875,000 settlement for a union worker who suffered internal injuries after falling and being impaled by steel rebar 
  • $7,400,000 settlement for a worker who suffered serious injuries to his shoulder, knee, and lower back after falling from a steel beam on the roof
  • $6,793,881 verdict for a union laborer who was impaled by a rebar after falling from the roof, sustaining injuries to his stomach and back
  • $6,400,000 settlement for a union ironworker who suffered a broken tailbone after a fall on a Bronx work site
  • $6,250,000 settlement for a worker who suffered paralysis in all of his limbs (quadriplegia) after falling nine feet from a beam while performing framing work

If you or someone you know was injured in a fall accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact the fall accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy at 212-736-5300 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation, or fill out our online contact form.

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