David Perecman Weighs In On Rescue Of Window Washers From Dangling Scaffold On 68th Floor Of One World Trade Center

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New York personal injury lawyer David Perecman of The Perecman Firm comments on the scaffold accident at One World Trade Center.

New York personal injury lawyer

The Perecman Firm

The presence of a safety tether meant the difference between a minor injury and a catastrophe.

Rescuers cut through three layers of glass to rescue a pair of window washers, who became trapped on a scaffold near the 68th floor of One World Trade Center. Both workers suffered only mild hypothermia. The accident emphasized the importance of safety devices and safety measures for window washers and other workers who conduct their jobs at great heights, said Attorney at Law David Perecman.

The two workers were trapped after slack developed on the left side of the scaffolding, causing it to tilt dangerously. Scaffold contractor Upgrade Services believed the slack may have been caused by an equipment failure in the traction hoist brake mechanism, which supports one side of the rig, reported CBS News (11.12.14). In other words, the cables on the basket did not descend at the same speed, causing the cable on one end to go slack.

“Human error causes some scaffolding accidents, but this particular incident appears to have been caused by a mechanical defect,” said Perecman. “However, whatever the cause of the accident, the presence of a safety tether meant the difference between a minor injury and a catastrophe.”

Emergency responders from the Police and Fire departments, along with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey worked together to rescue the workers and secure the scaffold platform.

First responders worked on two rescue options simultaneously. They tried to lower a rescue basket and transfer the workers to it safely, as well as cut through the three panes of glass. The FDNY cut through the glass before the second scaffolding was lowered, using diamond saws on two of the panes.

Section 202 of the New York Labor Law requires the building owner, lessee, agent and manager of every public building and every contractor involved to provide safe means for the cleaning of the windows and of the exterior surface of the building. Under the statue, these parties must take measures that allow window washers to work safely, for instance, they must provide safety devices. Window washers should not even be permitted to clean unless proper protection is provided. In this case, the safety devices appeared to save the lives of the workers.

“Window washing is one of the most dangerous jobs in New York City. Thankfully, there are laws to protect these brave workers” said Perecman.

The CBS story cited is “2 Window Washers Rescued From Scaffold At 1 World Trade Center.”

The personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm in New York have won hundreds of serious New York manual labor injury cases involving window washers and injury causing equipment, such as scaffolds and ladders. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.

About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:

For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of personal injury cases. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal's Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in America" and The New York Times Magazine "New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition" for the years 2007-2014. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for the years 2011-2015.

The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.

The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.

**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million    
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout

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Sherry Ishak
The Perecman Firm
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