A recent fatal accident underscores the dangers of falling objects near construction areas.

In November, NJ.com confirmed that 58-year-old Gary Anderson of Somerdale was killed when a tape measure fell from the belt of a construction worker and struck him on the head.

The accident occurred at a building project at 70-90 Columbus Drive in Jersey City. Anderson, an independent contractor for a New York trucking company, was delivering Gypsum National drywall to aid in the construction of two residential towers.

According to Jersey City public safety spokeswoman Carly Baldwin, Anderson had just finished speaking to someone inside a car, and when he pulled his head out of the vehicle’s window, the tape measure—which had fallen roughly 50 stories—hit him on the head.

News agents have reported that Anderson was not wearing a hard hat when the injury occurred.

Anderson was taken via ambulance to Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Safety reports confirm that several of his family members, including his wife, were in attendance.

OSHA Investigates Scene

Work was suspended at the construction site to allow representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) onto the scene. Baldwin confirmed that the tape measure had struck additional objects on its way to the ground, including construction equipment placed about 15 feet from the street level. OSHA representatives have not yet indicated whether construction debris netting or other precautions were in place to prevent the accident.

The unfinished project is being jointly developed by Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties, neither of which released comments about the incident. Although a representative of AJD Construction was on hand after the accident occurred, he declined to comment.

Our attorneys and staff wish to express their deepest sympathies to the victim’s family and friends, and hope urge all employers to take measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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