Even though working in construction is inherently more dangerous than working in, say, a Midtown office building, it is not unreasonable for construction workers to expect for their employers to keep them safe. This means that employers need to have sufficient training, safety equipment and be in compliance with safety codes. With the very real risk of danger associated with construction work, employers cannot be lax with their own safety procedures.
The unfortunate reality is that many employers don't do what they are supposed to to protect employees. It may have been one construction company's disregard for safety that ultimately led to a 34-year-old's fall from scaffolding at a Midtown construction site. The Brooklyn construction worker had been working on facade restoration when he fell 13 stories to his death.
While officials reported that he was not wearing a harness at the time of his death, it is not entirely clear if there were even harnesses available at the worksite. It was his employer's responsibility to provide him with the tools (both actual tools and safey equipment and trainings) that would keep him safe. If there is any evidence that it failed in that duty, his family may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer.
The construction site was not without its safety violations, too. Officials found 41 open violations, some of which include: failure to provide plans, failure to provide guardrails, failure to provide protection and failure to record daily inspection of the scaffolding.
Any death is tragic, but when that death could have been prevented by something as simple as a harness or a training, it is horrifc.
Source: Eyewitness News ABC 7, "Violations at Midtown site where worker fell to his death," April 16, 2014