Window washers have a dangerous job when they work at high elevations. Workplace falls are a leading cause of serious injuries and fatalities, and window washers are among the workers most vulnerable to suffering a fall.
If a window washer does fall and is hurt or killed, the worker or his surviving family members should consult with New York City workers’ compensation lawyers for help as soon as possible. Benefits may be available for medical care, disability, lost work and earnings, or the death of a worker.
The dangers faced by window washers was illustrated recently when a tragic accident occurred in New York City. ABC 7 NY reported on the incident that occurred.
According to ABC 7 NY, a 56-year-old window washer was working on the 12th Floor washing windows at 60 Madison Avenue. At approximately 10:20 AM on a Monday in August, an accident occurred and caused the window washer to fall. The older man fell from the 12th floor down to the courtyard on the 6th floor. The fall proved to be a fatal one for the window washer.
An office worker who saw the incident from the seventh floor of 60 Madison Avenue explained that he had been sitting in his office having a meeting when the man’s falling was observed out of the window. The man who fell landed in the air shaft of the building.
Workers who had been on site were horrified by the incident, according to ABC 7. They reached out to emergency services immediately by calling 911, but it was too late for first responders to do anything to save the window washer who had fallen six stories.
Witnesses describe a lot of blood at the scene of the accident. Immediately after the incident, several workers in nearby office buildings ran down the fire escape to reach the window washer and try to see if there was anything that they could do for him. Unfortunately, the man was not breathing when the would-be rescuers reached him.
When the first responders came to the scene, they transported the window washer to Bellevue Hospital. The man was subsequently pronounced dead at the hospital. The New York State Department of Labor was notified of the tragic accident and investigators from the Division of Safety and Health are conducting an examination in order to determine what went wrong and how the man fell.
Preliminary investigations into the cause of the incident suggest that the safety harness the window washer was wearing likely gave away, causing him to fall. It is not yet clear why the safety harness failed.
The incident shows how dangerous it can be to work at high levels, even when you have appropriate safety equipment to protect you. Equipment can malfunction, especially if not properly maintained or if workers don’t know how to use it properly.
It is the job of employers to ensure that safety equipment is provided and staff members have the knowledge they need to reduce on-the-job risks. Employers should be held accountable for failures. New York City workers’ compensation lawyers help those hurt or families of those killed in tragic work accidents to take action and obtain compensation through workers’ compensation or other legal remedies available to them.