New York – Rescue workers were sent racing to the scene of a work accident at the World Trade Center yesterday. Two window washers were suddenly left hanging hundreds of feet above the ground, along the outside of the office building, when the scaffold rig collapsed around them. The men reported feeling terrified as they struggled to stop themselves from falling onto the sidewalk below. They were taken to the hospital for evaluation in the emergency room after being rescued by firefighters. It appears that they did not suffer any physical injury but this will require additional time and follow up with doctors to determine conclusively. Trauma doctors do note that psychological injuries can also take time until they show themselves due to the nature of the incident. This latest work accident has industry experts concerned since this is not the first time that the same scaffold company was involved in a scaffold collapse. The previous incident occurred in 2007 when a worker was injured and another worker was killed. The injured worker suffered serious wounds and required extensive treatment. In that job accident, the same company had repaired and maintained the scaffold that broke away and sent the workers falling 47 stories from another Manhattan, NY building. Inspections of that rigging suggested that the dangerous equipment failure was due to a mistake in the crimping of the lines. Workplace safety specialists note that this error should have been picked up on by the employer prior to placing the workers into harm’s way. Activists fear that the same negligence may have been responsible for this week’s workplace accident. They note that work injuries are largely preventable if companies take their responsibility seriously and they maintain their equipment according to regulations. On the other hand, negligent maintenance can easily lead to catastrophic injury or wrongful death, as can be seen in these accidents. Read more about the investigation into the recent window washer accident and scaffold crash here.
Illustrative photo by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). [CC-BY-SA-4.0], via Wikimedia Commons