Worker Killed at Construction Site by Tape Measure Dropped from 50th Floor

A view on Monday of 70 Christopher Columbus Drive, a 50-story apartment building under construction in Jersey City

A view on Monday of 70 Christopher Columbus Drive, a 50-story apartment building under construction in Jersey City

While delivering sheet rock to a high-rise building under construction on Monday, Gary Anderson, 58, was hit in the head by a tape measure dropped from the 50th floor. He died at a New Jersey hospital about an hour later.

Tragically, Anderson left his safety helmet inside his truck when he stepped out to make the delivery, police said.

While walking toward the building, a tape measure fell out of a worker’s belt while he was bending over on the top floor. The object first hit a piece a metal about 10 feet from the ground, then ricocheted into Anderson’s head, a police report says.

“Mr. Anderson immediately went down to the ground,” the police account states.

Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea released a public statement that “Upon preliminary investigation, it appears to be a very tragic accident.”

Anderson was immediately taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where he died an hour later. His wife, children and other family member were notified of his death when they arrived at the hospital, according to the police report.

One of the construction site supervisors for AJD Construction, a contractor working on the high rise project, explained that safety procedures require everyone on site to wear a helmet. Anderson was not an employee of the company, although those safety rules would have applied to him as well.

Construction work was halted on the site immediately after the accident.

The nearly-complete luxury high-rise is part of a development including a hotel and two rental buildings, one of which already has all of its 400 apartments leased.

Construction Site Injury Attorneys

Construction zones are among the most dangerous work sites in the U.S.  Every year, thousands of workers in Washington State are seriously injured or killed in construction site accidents.  Some of the most common injuries include falls, crane accidents, scaffolding accidents, risks from compressed gases, injuries from defective equipment, nail gun accidents, and welding or cutting injuries.

When the party responsible for the accident is the employer, a coworker, or even the injured worker herself, claims and benefits are administered by the Department of Labor and Industries.  However, in some cases a construction site injury results from the negligence of someone who is not the worker’s direct employer; likewise (as with Anderson’s death), an accident may take place at a location other than the regular place of employment. In these cases, workers may be eligible for additional compensation and benefits through a third-party liability claim.  This differs from the workers’ compensation system since third-party lawsuits have almost no limit to their settlement amount. This can provide injured workers (or their survivors) with additional medical benefits, wage-loss benefits, and compensation.

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