On the morning of May 14, a New Jersey man lost his life in a tragic construction accident in the Bronx. Dominick DeLuca, 54, a resident of Dover, New Jersey, fell from the scaffolding around the Butler Houses, where he was working on the building’s facade. DeLuca’s impact with the ground killed him after a 15-foot fall.
OSHA Regulates Construction Site Safety
Federal laws have been in place in the United States to help prevent tragedies like this one since 1970, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) brought into being the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This administration, and the regulations promulgated by OSHA, are intended to help prevent serious injuries and deaths among workers in the construction business. Employers and contractors on construction jobs are required under these laws to keep the work environment and job conditions of construction workers safe to the best of their knowledge. Federal laws also set certain standards for safety, and require careful oversight by construction industry employers as well as other contractors present at a construction site. Many federal requirements to promote and protect health and safety of workers in the construction industry generally are stated in 29 CFR 1926. Scaffolding safety in particular is specifically addressed under 29 CFR 1910.28, which sets rigid requirements for issues such as proper footing and anchorage of scaffolding, minimum load bearing capabilities for scaffolding, stability and securing of scaffolding, and proper maintenance of scaffolding.
Scaffolding at Fault for Death
In this tragic accident, the Department of Buildings has already determined that the scaffolding from which DeLuca fell failed to meet applicable standards. If the victim’s family seeks damages as a result of this tragedy, the employer or other contractors working at the site could face liability for their failures to meet applicable federal standards intended to prevent tragedies like this one.