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Construction Worker Injured after Two-Story Fall

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A worker on a job site in Howell suffered serious injuries after falling two stories in a house under construction. The incident is an example of the serious risks that construction workers face when appropriate safeguards for working at a height are not implemented.

The worker, a 39-year-old East Brunswick man, was working on the second floor of what was at the time only a framed structure. The man stepped backward into what was just an open area and fell all the way into the structure’s basement. He struck his head on the concrete floor. The home is in such an early stage of construction that there were not yet stairs leading to the basement, making his rescue more difficult. When emergency personnel arrived, they had to borrow a ladder from a neighbor to reach the man. Rescuers issued acute care to the man before hoisting him out of the house through a basement window and delivering him to a medevac helicopter that was waiting nearby. The man is expected to recover from his injuries. Representatives from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also responded to the scene to begin investigating the accident.

Among all the hazardous jobs on a job site, the one most likely to injure workers are jobs done at a height. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites. According to OSHA, 40%, or 359 of 899, of individuals who were killed on construction sites in 2014 died after a fall. OSHA also reports that two of the three most frequently-cited standards found to be violated on worksites in 2015 were fall protection (#1) and scaffolding requirements (#3). Whenever workers are on a surface that is at least 6 feet above the ground on a surface that has an unprotected side or edge, both federal rules and the laws of New Jersey require that workers be protected from a fall with the use of guardrails, harnesses, or safety nets. If guardrails are negligently installed by independent contractors, or the safety equipment obtained from third party equipment rental services is defective, workers hurt by a fall may have a basis to file a lawsuit against those third parties, aside from possible Workers’ Compensation claims.

If you’ve been hurt on the job site in New Jersey and think you may have a claim for money damages for your medical expenses, lost work, or pain and suffering, contact the knowledgeable, experienced, and effective personal injury and construction accident attorney Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation, at 973-532-9681.

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