Arlington Construction Worker Dies after Falling 7 Stories While Installing Balcony Railing

By Peter DePaolis

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that falls from heights are responsible for one-third of construction fatalities. Employers could have prevented many of these. Safety precautions that save lives are no mystery. Such things as personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, harnesses, and safety nets make construction work safer. Too often, however, workers fail to use them. If a construction or industrial accident has harmed you or a loved one, a Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and protect other workers from similar accidents.

A 35-year-old construction worker died last month as he was installing a balcony railing at the Arlington Court Suites hotel. The man fell five stories before crashing through a two-story Plexiglas atrium. Co-workers said that, although he was wearing a harness, he had not tied it down while working on the balcony. He had been a long-time employee of Hallmark Iron Works, a Virginia company that produces metal railings and stairways. Arlington police and members of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry will be carrying out an investigation into the accident.

Unfortunately, accidents involving construction workers at high heights occur every year, and improper safety precautions or no safety precautions at all are usually to blame. Workers may forgo the proper use of harnesses in order to work more efficiently without the encumbrances that harnesses entail. Employers should make it clear that the safety rules are not optional. They should enforce them and have repercussions for those who violate the rules.

If poor safety at a construction or industrial site has hurt you or a loved one, contact Peter DePaolis, a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P to learn about obtaining compensation for those injuries.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.