Friday, September 12, 2008

Father's Fatal Fall

Wearing harness but not tied in to an anchor ...



Posted: 3:47 am September 12, 2008 at New York Post

A construction worker described by his sobbing wife as "the support of his family" plunged four stories to his death yesterday when one end of his suspended-platform scaffold gave way from a Harlem building, authorities said.
Miguel Rodriguez's widow and 7-year-old son, Kevin, wept and hugged one another at the spot where he died yesterday afternoon.
"He was there for his son," said Berta Rodriguez, 40. "He was the support of the family. I stayed and took care of the kids, and he'd go out to work every day."
Miguel, 38, leaves another son, who is 17.
The Ecuadorian immigrant was wearing a safety harness, but it was not secured to anything that could have prevented his plunge from the fifth story of 266 W. 111th St. to a sidewalk shed four stories below, authorities said.
Officials weren't sure yesterday why the
suspended scaffold fell. Hours after the tragedy, it was still dangling from the building by one rope.
Rodriguez arrived in the United States 16 years ago and lived with his family in Corona, Queens.
"Ecuador is very poor. He came for a better life," Berta Rodriguez said, calling her tragic husband "an excellent person - a great guy."
A grieving co-worker, who gave his name as Dionero, said of the victim, "He's a good guy. He doesn't even drink."
Berta said she is planning to return to Ecuador.
"I'm going to go back to my country with the boy," she said.
Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, who visited the site, said, "These things shouldn't happen.
"If you are a construction worker, be safe. Wear your lifeline."
Buildings Department officials issued a full stop-work order and three violations against the scaffold operator at the building, which is being renovated by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Also yesterday, a construction worker in Brooklyn fell head-first from the sixth floor to the fourth floor of a building under renovation at 380 Union Ave. in Williamsburg, authorities said.
That worker, who was not wearing a safety harness, was in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, officials said. They did not release his name or provide further details.
The Harlem death was the second this month of a construction worker who failed to properly use a safety harness.
Anthony Esposito, 48, a tower crane rigger, was about 40 stories up when he lost his footing on a crane platform at a construction site at 600 W. 42nd St. on Sept. 4.