A 38 year-old-worker by the name of Miguel Rodriguez was fixing a façade on the outside of a six-story building at 226 West 111th Street shortly before 2 p.m. When his co-worker, Malik Hussain, stepped off the scaffold and into the building to use the restroom, Mr. Rodriguez attempted to lower the scaffolding without his partner.Workers are ordered to lower the platform when two or more are present. Mr. Rodriguez tried to do that alone and it simply was a mistake, in addition to the fact that his harness was not properly fastened to the building. He crashed to his death and landed on the top of a sidewalk shed. It is terribly tragic that this accident could have been avoided with proper care and attention to the details.
Recently in New York construction there have been more than the normal amount of fatal construction-related accidents. Last week a construction worker fell about 400 feet to his death as he and others worked to lower a tower crane at a building site on the West Side of Manhattan. Additionally, over the course of this year, 18 people have died in New York City construction accidents, nine of which were involving crane collapses.
We must urge out legislators to strengthen New York State Labor Laws that special interest groups are attempting to weaken. In order to remember those who have passed away due to these types of accidents and prevent further occurrences, the Labor Laws of the State of New York, especially Labor Laws 240 and 241 must continue to be strengthened and properly enforced.
Contributor: Amy Witherite, leading Dallas construction injury lawyer
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