The death last year of a laborer who fell nearly 50 feet at a Brooklyn, N.Y., construction site was a tragic reminder that falls are the leading cause of fatalities at construction sites, OSHA said.

The 21-year-old worker was installing a supported tubular welded frame scaffold on Nov. 13, 2020, during construction of a seven-story building when he fell.

An OSHA investigation into the fall at 710 Metropolitan Ave., determined that Everett Scaffolding Inc., of the Bronx, failed to ensure the laborer’s fall arrest harness was attached, as is required.

OSHA proposed $300,370 in penalties against the company for two willful and two serious safety violations.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if Everest Scaffolding had provided appropriate training on fall hazards and ensured workers were using fall protection correctly,” OSHA Manhattan area director Kay Gee said in a statement.

Investigation

OSHA’s investigation found that Everest:

  • Failed to evaluate the feasibility of using fall protection and failed to use feasible fall protection during the erection of a supported scaffold
  • Did not properly train employees on fall hazards associated with scaffold work
  • Failed to inspect fall arrest systems before use
  • Did not determine if the anchorage for employees’ personal fall arrest systems could support at least 5,000 pounds

Everest Scaffolding is contesting OSHA’s findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Previously, the site’s construction manager was fined $60,000 by the New York City Department of Buildings for failing to institute safety measures while the scaffold was being installed.


For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1900).