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Was your work site fall due to negligence or clumsiness?

Depending upon your work site and the focus the employer places on safety protocols, working construction in New York City can be both challenging and dangerous.

The city's Buildings Department initiated the Experience is Not Enough campaign as a reminder to those working in construction that following safety protocols can protect them and those in close proximity from being hurt by falling debris.

The number one cause of death on construction sites is falls. Employers have a duty to ensure that workers are in a safe environment and protected from falling. The years working in the field don't negate the need to use fall protection gear whenever it's required.

No matter how agile you have always been scampering up a scaffold or crossing a beam high above the ground, all workers are in danger of slipping and falling when they are not using special gear designed to prevent falls, including safety harnesses, netting and guardrails.

There should always be safety procedures in place to deter workers from tripping over hazards like extension cords or piles of trash and debris that accumulate on construction sites.

Workers must be proactive and remain alert on job sites, especially when working around shafts, building edges and open spaces. Those who become aware of hazardous conditions can report them by dialing 311.

If you fall and get injured on the job site, it may be more than simple clumsiness on your part for tripping over your own feet. Negligence by an employer or sub-contractor could have caused or contributed to the conditions that lead to your fall. If so, you may decide to file a workers' compensation claim or take further legal action.

Source: NYC Buildings, "Fall Protection Program," accessed Nov. 11, 2016

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