Construction Firm Requires Workers to Wear Safety Harnesses

A construction company that is currently working on the Hudson Yards project and a new emergency room for New York-Presbyterian Hospital is calling on all workers on job sites statewide to wear safety harnesses when working six feet above the ground and wants the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt the company’s policy.

Crains New York Business reported that Gilbane Building Co. has a policy for its employees to hook into a safety harness above six feet — which goes beyond what OSHA currently requires. According to federal guidelines, construction workers do not need a harness until they are 25 feet up and those working on scaffolds must be at least 10 feet above ground before they are required to wear a harness, which only requires a single-hook attachment. Gilbane’s workers use a two-hook attachment, which allows them to remove one of the hooks as they move up and remain attached to something.

Gilbane made this announcement to coincide with OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction event. Other companies, such as Lendlease, a national contractor with operations in New York City, have adopted a workplace safety policy similar to Gilbane’s, according to ConstructionDIVE.

The New York City Department of Buildings indicated it supports any measures that would improve workplace safety at a construction site. OSHA did not comment on Gilbane’s idea.

According to Gilbane, since the firm implemented the policy five years ago, 20 workers who would have otherwise been injured or killed from potentially fatal falls were saved because of the harnesses and the company’s six-foot rule.

If you are a construction worker who has suffered injury due to a height-related accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about construction accidents to discuss your legal rights and remedies. Call Arze & Mollica, LLP at (718) 996-5600

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