Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions. Although we often think about the unsafe constructions that workers face every day, we tend to think less about the dangers construction work poses to other people. Pedestrians and drivers are also endangered by unsafe construction sites.
At the beginning of May, a teenager was struck on the hand by an iron rod that fell 13 stories from construction work at the World Trade Center in New York. According to news reports, the rod fell through a gap in a platform which construction crews were standing on.
The chief operating officer of the construction company ensured the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee that the cause of the event had been identified and that no future construction accidents would occur. Regardless, individuals who live near the site are concerned about the incident and their safety.
One resident said pedestrian safety efforts around the site should be intensified, especially since the construction area already has heavy foot traffic and attracts hundreds of tourists. When the accident occurred, the resident had been walking with her four-year-old child in the area. She was alarmed, since the accident could easily have been more serious or fatal.
The chairperson of the Redevelopment Committee was relieved that the accident was not more serious, but she acknowledged that future construction accidents could cause fatal injuries. She also referred to a previous construction accident in which a metal fragment at another site – operated by the same company – was dislodged and fell onto the city ball fields.
So far, the construction company has been lucky that their negligence has not led to serious injuries. However, given the company’s track record and the inherent dangers of construction work, extra precautions must be taken in order to prevent serious or fatal injuries. Hopefully additional steps are being taken to help ensure the company’s blatant negligence does not cause more accidents.
Source: Downtown Express, “Iron rod falls 13 floors from Tower 4 to street,” 11 May 2011