Construction Worker Killed in Upper West Side Scaffold Fall

Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

A construction worker tragically fell from scaffolding to his death at an Upper West Side apartment building on the morning of November 28, 2022. The 36-year-old worker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. 

The accident reportedly occurred around 11:25 a.m. on Monday morning at 263 West End Avenue near W. 72nd Street. Initial reports from the Department of Buildings (DOB) state the worker, whose name has not yet been released, fell about 15 stories from scaffolding while installing netting around supporting scaffolding on the job site.  

complaint has since been filed to the DOB within the category of “site conditions and endangering workers,” claiming a worker fell from scaffolding onto a sidewalk shed. 

We hope a thorough investigation will shine light on the circumstances that led to this heartbreaking incident. Our thoughts are with the victim’s loved ones at this time.  

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes falls as one of the top four most common causes of deaths on construction sites, along with struck-by accidents, caught-in accidents, and electrocutions. Of the 17 construction-related fatalities that were reported in New York City in 2020 and 2021, 11 were attributed to worker falls, according to the 2021 DOB Construction Safety Report. Falls were also the leading cause of injury among workers, accounting for 364 of 1,007 reported injuries in the same time span. Given these numbers, it is clear that fall prevention to protect those working from heights should be a top priority for employers, contractors, and property owners.  

In accordance with OSHA rules and regulations, any employee working 10 feet above a lower level must be protected by guardrails or a fall arrest system. Depending on the type of scaffolding, guardrails may be insufficient, making fall arrest systems a necessity. Every employee must be properly trained before working from heights, especially employees who are tasked with the erection of scaffolding.  

As the investigation into this senseless tragedy takes shape, there will be critical questions that needs to be asked:

  • Were there appropriate guardrails on the scaffold?
  • Was the victim afforded appropriate and safe fall protection equipment?
  • Was the structural stability of the scaffold assessed?
  • Were the workers trusted with the responsibility of assembling this scaffold properly trained and experienced?

The answers to these pivotal questions may permit investigators to understand how and why this happened.  Equally as important, they may determine whether this tragedy could have been avoided.

The scaffolding accident attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are dedicated to helping accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our firm has a proven track record in construction accident cases. Notable results include: 

  • $7,000,000 settlement for a worker struck by a falling metal clamp while dismantling scaffolding 
  • $6,000,000 settlement for a union waterproofer not provided with any fall protection fell from an exterior scaffold 
  • $5,885,000 jury verdict for a worker who was injured when he fell from a ladder placed on top of a Baker rolling scaffold 

To discuss your case with one of our skilled construction accident attorneys today, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our online contact form. We serve New York and New Jersey.


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