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Work dies in fall from scaffold at NYU

Could proper safety training have prevented a construction worker from dying in a fall at a New York University construction site? The 56-year-old man working for a construction company on a job site for façade repairs at a New York University building. He fell 70 feet onto the roof of a nearby building on a recent morning and died at Bellevue Hospital.

After his death, the city Buildings Department found that the worker did not have proper certification to work on a support scaffold, according to news reports. A colleague said the worker had been on the job site for about three weeks.  In addition, the hoist area, where the worker fell to his death, lacked guard rails and other safety precautions, according to the department. The department issued a stop-work order for the site. 

An NYU spokesman says the school shutdown the site to determine whether the contractor was complying with safety regulations. The school had contracted for façade repairs this summer, with an expected Oct. 1 end date. The deadline had been extended into December, and the spokesman said the university would never put a deadline before worker safety.

Construction work is dangerous under any circumstances, but serious or fatal accidents can often be prevented with appropriate safety measures. Preliminary information from the Buildings Department indicates that safety precautions may not have been taken at the site. A full investigation is needed to find out whether the worker had enough training, whether the scaffold he was using was the right piece of equipment and what other safety precautions should have been taken. Families of construction workers who are killed in scaffolding accidents may be able to obtain money damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: DNA Info New York, “Construction Worker Dies in Fall From NYU Building,” Janon Fisher and Gustavo Solis, Nov. 15, 2013

  • Our law firm represents clients who have been injured or killed in construction accidents in New York. To learn more, visit our page on scaffolding accidents and falls.
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