A recent on the job accident in New York City left two window washers dangling from the 43rd floor of a scaffold rig. Luckily the safety brake of the rig worked as it should and safety harnesses kept the workers from plummeting to their deaths.
The men were rescued after the scaffold they were standing on broke and left them hanging at a 45 degree angle. The building’s landlord credited the proper safety harnessing as what save the men, once again showing the importance of not only donning the proper safety gear as a worker each and every time but also the importance of equipment inspection before every job.
Many accidents that result in serious injuries and deaths are due to the improper inspection and maintenance of scaffolding and other on-site equipment. Employers looking to move along a project or to bypass additional costs will not schedule adequate maintenance of equipment and no surprise that equipment will fail and leave workers injured or killed on the job.
It is important that all workers know they have a right to refuse to work without consequences in the event safety issues are ignored or mechanical equipment has not been inspected or repaired. Employees can refuse to perform a job where they deem their safety is at risk due to employer neglect. For those who work without understanding their risks due to safety violations of employers, it is important to protect worker rights in the event of an accident that leads to injuries or fatalities.