It's perhaps every New York construction workers' worst nightmare -- trapped on scaffolding high above the streets of Manhattan and unable to get to safety.
That exact scenario played out earlier this week on Monday, Aug. 11, approximately 20 stories above lower Manhattan. Two construction workers found themselves unable to get off of their scaffold. The Fire Department of New York received the call about the stranded men shortly after 1:00 p.m.
Numerous fire trucks arrived on the scene of the high-rise at Broadway and Reade. Federal offices are located inside of the skyscraper, and the Department of Homeland Security police officers cordoned off the block near City Hall with police tape.
According to authorities who were at the scene, the workers were trapped near the 21st floor and unable to get off the equipment and into the building to safety. A type of equipment failure apparently occurred even though the scaffold remained level and stable throughout the rescue operation. FDNY personnel were able to get them inside the building without further incident. Neither man had visible injuries but were being medically evaluated to make sure that they were all right.
While these two men had a good ending and a great story to tell later on, not all construction workers' accidents have such positive outcomes. Those involving scaffolding are particularly lethal due to the great distance from their position high above the city to the ground below.
Construction workers and others must do their best to stay safe while on the job, utilizing safety equipment to tie themselves off above ground and observing all safety practices. Their employers also have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for them.
Those who are injured while on the job are, in most instances, entitled to financial remuneration through workers' compensation or a settlement or judgment through the courts.
Source: Stamford Advocate, "2 workers safe after getting stuck on NYC scaffold" Aug. 11, 2014