There are iconic pictures of New York construction workers hanging dangerously above the ground in order to build famous skyscrapers. These workers had little in the way of protective gear and had to fend for themselves. Thankfully, the construction industry has come a long way since this time and New York construction workers are much safer — or at least they are supposed to be.

Recently, a construction worker has fallen to his death. The man was part of a team that was doing work to the façade of a hotel. According to workers in nearby buildings, they often worried about the workers since they were often seen working alone and without harnesses on despite being high off the ground.

At the time of this workplace accident, the worker was around 80 feet off the ground on some scaffolding when he fell. Parts of the scaffolding planks were missing causing a large unprotected area. Eventually, the man landed on scaffolding planks directly above the hotel’s entrance. People who witnessed the accident said it was horrifying. Police say that they are still investigating how and why the construction accident occurred.

When construction sites ignore safety gear, regulations and precautions serious accidents, like this one, can occur. In these accidents, construction workers and those near the construction site are put at risk. Death and permanent injuries are likely in these accidents.

Construction workers and their families should understand their legal options following a construction site accident. Workers’ compensation could be available to cover the costs of the accident and help families recover from the devastation. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages and more.

Source: CBS New York, “Construction Worker Killed In Fall From Scaffolding At Midtown Hotel,” April 2, 2014