U.S. Capital

OSHA Launches Probe Into Death of Construction Worker Hit on Head by Tape Measure

Jan 6, 2015

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) January 6, 2015 – Gary Anderson, 58, was delivering drywall to a nearly completed building when a falling object struck and killed him.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an investigation into a November 3 worksite accident. Anderson, an independent contractor from Somerdale, New Jersey, was delivering wallboard to a 50-story apartment building under construction in Jersey City, New Jersey when the accident occurred. Anderson was knocked unconscious after a falling tape measure struck him, and he later died of his injuries.

Shortly before 9:00 a.m., Anderson arrived at 70 Christopher Columbus Drive, which is near the Grove Street PATH station, and emerged from his truck when a tape measure slipped off the tool belt of a construction worker at the top of the structure. The tape measure plummeted 400 feet before bouncing off a piece of metal equipment and hitting Anderson in the head. He was talking to an SPI employee when the tape measure struck him, according to U.S. Department of Labor spokeswoman Leni Uddyback-Fortson. 

Anderson was taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where he died at 9:52 a.m. Work at the site was temporarily halted.

OSHA is investigating three companies involved in the construction of the apartment building: Jangho Curtain Wall Company, which did scaffolding work; Specialty Products & Insulation Company, which had the contract to supply the project’s drywall; and AJD Construction, which is the project’s general contractor.

The police report stated that Anderson was not wearing a hardhat when the incident occurred, although he had one in his truck. AJD Construction told investigators that company policy requires that all people on on its worksite wear helmets. Shortly after the incident, a worker was seen placing a sign with the helmet requirement advisory on it.

“The belated attempt to post a declaration of company policy on the use of hardhats does not negate a landowner’s or occupier’s duty of reasonable care toward invitees,” said Steven Petrillo, a prominent attorney in Pennsauken, New Jersey. His firm, Petrillo & Goldberg, specializes in premises liability cases. “And in the case of the construction site accident in Jersey City, the independent contractor delivering drywall was clearly an invitee.”

OSHA, whose probe of the Jersey City apartment building accident began within two weeks of the incident, has six months to complete the investigation. 

According to the most recent OSHA statistics, there were 796 construction site fatalities in the United States in 2013. An object striking a worker was deemed responsible for 82 of those fatalities, the second leading cause of construction site deaths (behind the 294 workers who died as a result of a fall).

“While the tragic death of the independent contractor in Jersey City appears, at first blush, to be a freak accident, construction site fatalities of workers struck by an object are, unfortunately, not uncommon,” Petrillo said. “And it is just one of several potential causes of injury or death that construction workers are exposed to in their line of work.”

Learn more at http://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com/

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

6951 North Park Drive
Pennsauken, NJ 08109

19 South 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

70 South Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Phone: 856-486-4343
Fax: 856:486-7979

  • Pennsylvania Turnpike truck accident triggers typical vicarious liability claim
    Motor vehicle accidents involving two passenger vehicles or a vehicle and a pedestrian that result in personal injury usually focus on the potential liability of the driver who precipitated the accident. When a commercial vehicle is one of the parties, though, the question of liability often has a broader scope. And that is illustrated very […]
  • Overturned tractor trailers in Philadelphia, South Jersey add to truck crash statistics
    Two major incidents involving the overturning of a tractor trailer marred commutes in South Jersey and the Philadelphia area during Veterans Day week. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, and only minor injuries have been associated with the two incidents. But they served as a reminder of how common accidents involving large trucks are in the […]
  • Pennsylvania case reminds Americans that holiday season presents prime slip-and-fall conditions
    With autumn drawing to a close, the holiday season has begun in earnest. And so have the often extended, winter-like conditions that get people in the mood for shopping and for visiting friends and relatives. However, the holiday season can be a perilous one for people who walk on the often icy or snowy surfaces […]
  • In region where many structures have crumbled, Jersey City building spurs evacuation
    As crews worked to stabilize the ground in a vacant lot next to a four-story building in Jersey City, New Jersey, that was deemed in danger of collapsing, the city Building Department declared the structure unsafe and ordered it, as well as seven other buildings, temporarily evacuated.  The agency’s decision bespoke an abundance of caution […]
  • Stateside arrival of Ebola raises concerns, questions of workers’ rights
    Facing Ebola’s limited spread among a handful of people in United States, questions are being raised about how, in spite of precautions, the deadly virus could have been transmitted to healthcare workers who were entrusted with the care of the patient in Dallas, Texas who died of the disease.  The sudden stateside appearance of Ebola […]