A man in his 40s died at a Queens construction site after falling five stories down an open elevator shaft. The fatal accident is especially troubling because a simple safety precaution could have saved his life.
The victim was working in the elevator shaft and wearing a safety harness, but he failed to affix it with a lifeline. His fatal construction fall caused another laborer to fall front the second floor to the first floor. The second man was injured but survived.
The construction accident has sparked authorities to investigate and there will likely be citations issued. It remains to be revealed whether the fatality was the result of insufficient training, inadequate supervision or the victim's disregard of safety protocol.
It is hard to imagine that the deceased was the only one breaking safety rules and may indicate a widespread culture of ignoring life-saving precautions. Hopefully his death will not be in vain, and it will influence New York City workers and foremen to pay closer attention to safety laws.
Source: CBS Local, "Worker Dies After 5-Story Plunge Down Elevator Shaft In Queens," June 5, 2014