Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Too Many Scaffold Colapses

How Many More Deaths Due To
Improper Scaffolding????

The article below from the New York Times by Anahad O'Conner and Colin Moynihan relates to another Fatality to a worker on a stage scaffold. Proper Safety equipment either was not available or the workers on these scaffolds were not properly trained in Fall Protection when working from scaffolding.

In this case, the workers on the stage scaffold should have
been anchored so that if and when the stage fell, the workers would have been saved by Personal Protection Fall Equipment.

There is no excuse for situations like and the contractors should have to pay LARGE fines for the lack of proper safety equipment and safe use training for each jobsite or each time the scaffold is relocated.

The use of a Job Safety Analysis should have been completed and reviewed and signed off by the workers before any work was started. This applies to work EACH DAY or when the scaffolding is relocated.

Come on People. Lets wake up and quit killing workers working from scaffolding. Use some Horse Sense and quit doing it the Donkey Way and protect your employees.

Worker Falls Four Stories to His Death When a Scaffold Collapses in Brooklyn

Two workers left dangling when a scaffold gave way were pulled into a fourth-floor window by firefighters. The accident happened at the Ansonia on 12th Street in Park Slope.

Published: August 18, 2009

A 42-year-old construction worker at a luxury apartment building in Brooklyn plunged four stories to his death Tuesday evening when he stepped onto a scaffold that suddenly gave way, the authorities and witnesses said. Two co-workers tethered to harnesses were left dangling in the air, and were rescued by firefighters who arrived moments later as anxious neighbors witnessed the drama.

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Henryk Siebor

“It was this terrible, ripping, tearing sound,” said Ilene Rosen, who was down the block when the scaffold gave way.

Ms. Rosen and other area residents said they looked up to see the two workers who had been on the scaffold now dangling in the air, and a fourth worker standing on a second scaffold.

“He’s dead, he’s dead,” one of the workers shouted of the man below.

The cause was being investigated, the authorities said, but it appeared that both mechanical failure and human error played some role in the collapse, which occurred about 5:30 p.m. at the Ansonia, a former clock factory that was converted to residential apartments over the years by various developers. The accident took place at one of the buildings, a six-story prewar at 438 12th Street in Park Slope.

Workers had been replacing bricks on the building’s facade for the past three months, and residents who saw them there on an almost daily basis said they virtually always appeared to be wearing safety harnesses. Investigators said Tuesday night that the worker who died — Henryk Siebor of 100 Diamond Street in Brooklyn — was wearing his harness at the time of the accident, but it may not have been secured, as required by state law.

Witnesses said that four men had been working throughout the day on two separate scaffolds placed side by side — two men to a scaffold — on the fifth floor of the building. They were nearing the end of the day’s work when the men on one scaffold told their superior, Mr. Siebor, on the adjacent scaffold that there was a problem with the way the rig was “tied off,” said Robert D. LiMandri, the commissioner of the Buildings Department.

“They were concerned,” he said. “They looked to their colleague who was senior on the job, and asked him to come over and investigate. He did that.”

But as Mr. Siebor stepped onto the scaffold, one of the lines holding it to the building gave way, sending the scaffold swinging against the building as he plunged to his death, landing on a first-floor terrace below.

Secured by their harnesses, the two men dangling in the air clung to the building for several minutes as firefighters from a department about a block away raced to the building.

When firefighters arrived, they smashed through a fourth-floor apartment door to reach the two men. A fire truck on the ground erected a ladder to help in the rescue, and the two men were pulled through a window. The fourth man, who was on the scaffold that remained intact, was helped off by other firefighters.

Donna Mitchell, who works in a building across the street, said she was outside when she heard a commotion and looked up.

“I saw fire trucks, and I see these two construction workers hanging on by the harness,” she said. “They still had their harness attached to them and they were hanging on.”

Ms. Mitchell said that to get to the men, firefighters smashed through a children’s safety guard and yelled for the men to reach for the window.

“The guys were close enough to the window, so they all reached out their hands,” she said. “It was like four firemen in the window, and one held him and the rest inside supported him and pulled him in.”

“It really looked scary,” she added.

Mr. Siebor came to New York four years ago from Rzeszow, a city of about 170,000 in southeastern Poland, and would regularly send money to his family back home, said a relative, who spoke Polish through a neighbor who interpreted. The relative, who would not give her name, said Mr. Siebor was married with three children: 20-year-old and 16-year-old daughters and a son, Robert, 16, who was visiting New York and apparently was at the Ansonia when his father died.

According to the Buildings Department’s online database, the Ansonia building received permits in March for masonry reconstruction and in April for the erection of a heavy-duty sidewalk shed. A spokeswoman from the Buildings Department said late Tuesday night that a stop-work order had been issued for the site, and that citations for violations were expected pending the outcome of the investigation.

There was no response to calls for comment made to the company responsible for the scaffold, Nova Restoration, which has offices in Brooklyn.

The Ansonia complex was once one of the largest clock factories in the world before it was converted to residential apartments, some selling for more than a million dollars.

Mr. LiMandri of the Buildings Department said that the agency would continue investigating why one of the lines that secured the scaffold gave way.

“We have two people who are lucky,” he said. “They are lucky to be alive.”

Reporting was contributed by Sewell Chan, Kareem Fahim, Christine Hauser, Jennifer 8. Lee and James Oberman.


Mary said...

Eventually we need to scaffold the whole of the south side of the Church to repair the windows and replace mortar with which the church was repaired in in the 1970s, they used the wrong kind, now it is crumbling


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