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Workplace accident kills window washer when fall protection fails

Window washers in New York put their lives on the line every day. The biggest hazard they face is indeed falling, and one would expect the employer of any window washer to be aware of the importance of, not only providing fall protection but ensuring that it is always in mint condition and replaced when it starts showing wear and tear. A fatal workplace accident that involves a malfunctioning fall harness should not happen.

Sadly, it did happen. On a recent Monday, shortly before 10:30 a.m., a 56-year-old window washer fell to his death. Reportedly, he was on a raised platform, busy cleaning the windows of the 12th story of a building in Midtown when his fall harness apparently malfunctioned. The interior courtyard landing on the building's 6th floor broke his fall, but could not save his life.

Emergency workers performed CPR in an attempt to keep him alive, while they rushed him to the hospital. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries at the medical center. The victim's brother said the co-worker who was also on the platform called him immediately after the fatal fall.

Authorities will likely investigate the employer's compliance with safety regulations to determine the cause of the malfunction of the personal protective equipment in this workplace accident. However, nothing could ease the pain of the deceased worker's surviving family members. They will be entitled to claim death benefits from the New York workers' compensation insurance program that may bring relief of the financial burden brought about by the tragic death of their loved one.

Source: New York Post, "Window washer dead after falling from platform", Jaclyn Weiner, Daniel Prendergast, Aug. 7, 2017

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