Utica residents might expect that the higher the profile of a major construction project, the greater the attention paid to workers' safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders are a danger no matter how great the visibility of the construction site.
A recent accident occurred during construction of a brand-new National Football League stadium. No fewer than 1,200 construction workers were busy on the structure at about a quarter to 8 a.m. on a recent morning. One of these workers was a man in his mid-thirties who fell from the section of roofing on which he was working. He did not survive the 50-foot drop.
Investigators are looking into the roofing subcontractor that employed the deceased construction worker. Since 2010, the company has been cited by OSHA for nine serious violations. The majority of these involved inadequate safety measures to prevent falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders.
In some cases, the company failed to provide workers with guardrails or safety harnesses. The lead contractor on this stadium project would not comment on whether harnesses were in use by roofing workers.
As we've noted in previous posts on this subject, a ladder fall or scaffolding fall can leave victims with permanent, disabling injuries. They may even prove fatal. We know that workers' compensation can help support workers' recovery and treatment for serious injuries, but what can workers' compensation do for victims' surviving family members when a construction site accident proves fatal? We'll look at the answer to that question in a follow-up post.
Source: Fox9.com, "Family identifies U.S. Bank Stadium victim as Jeramie Gruber from Northfield, Minn.," Ted Haller, Aug. 27, 2015