Worker Dies. Excuses Made.

Man employee falls. Excuses madekilled at construction site for new Delaware home

Blowing off  a bit of steam here. Journalists take note. Check out this article about the death of a worker who fell two stories from the roof of a new house:

A construction worker was killed after he fell from the second story of a Delaware home under construction per police.

Delaware police said the man was in his 40s and was working on a new home from Pulte Homes on Eagle Walk Road. According to police, he fell from the second story of the new home into the basement just before noon Saturday.

The worker may have had a medical problem that contributed to his death, but police said they cannot make that determination until the autopsy is released.

Really, a medical problem. Where did that information come from?  The employer maybe?  And what if he did have a “medical problem” that caused him to fall. Maybe he had a heart attack on the roof, or a stroke. Possible, but unlikely for a man in his 40s. But even if he did, the crucial fact is here that the man was clearly not using fall protection.  The point of wearing a harness that is tied off to an anchor is that even if you have a heart attack, or a slight bout of dizziness, or trip on a tool, or just lose your balance for no reason at all, your fall is going to be arrested before you hit the ground. Then you can head to the hospital to deal with your heart or whatever.

Journalists out there. Be skeptical when you hear stuff like this. It’s a common employer excuse after a preventable tragedy strikes: blame the worker or blame an unavoidable act of God.

But here the blame goes to the employer who wasn’t ensuring that the worker was provided with fall protection equipment and that he was using it properly.

OK, now back to our regularly scheduled programming…..

Blame the Worker Fall Prevention Fatalities

3 Comments

  1. Haven’t seen a roofer on new home construction yet wearing fall protection. Some of the roofs in my neighborhood were three stories up. Yet, the developer had all sorts of safety signs up, but no enforcement, especially on Saturdays and Sundays as the hispanic workers were rushing to completion. Still the wild wild west out here. OSHA way too thin to deal with it.

  2. I had seen a dramatic cultural shift after OSHA implemented a Local emphasis program on residential roofers here in Massachusetts. I went from never seeing a roofer tied off to seeing most roofers using fall arrest systems on a regular basis. However under the new let the good times roll back nasty regulations, and eliminate 2 regulations for every one we implement philosophy safety goes out the window in a New York minute. Lighting the rocket fuel for the economy means safety (which takes both time and money) will likely be the first casualty in the name of free market competitiveness. Sad for both the workers and their families and businesses who will face huge liability lawsuits.

  3. OSHA will never have enough inspectors to stop this kind of thing from happening. Perhaps we could be Deputies out in the field in our own jobs and when we See Something We Say & Report It to OSHA. NAH, that’d be too easy……..

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