Worker suffers a fatal fall while installing solar panels

A 60-year-old man in Queens was on the roof of a two-story house, putting in solar panels, when he slipped and fell. The accident happened just before noon on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.

Emergency crews responded to the accident and took him to Elmhurst Hospital as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, he passed away from his injuries at the medical center.

The man was employed by Sunrun, a solar panel firm operating in New York.

Across the street, a retired construction worker was watching him do the install. He spoke with reporters afterward about what he'd seen, and he claims the man had put on the anchors for the solar panels. Then, to make sure they were strong enough, he was pulling on them. It was at that time that he fell.

Moreover, the construction worker said the other man was not tied to anything and that he didn't believe the 60-year-old would have been hurt, much less killed, if he'd been secured to the roof. Citing his own career and roofing work he'd done, he said there were many safety measures that could have been taken but were not.

An investigation into the accident has been opened up by the Queens Buildings Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When the homeowners were called about the accident, they said they felt bad that the man had passed away, but they offered no other comment beyond that.

This story shows just how quickly a construction accident can turn deadly without safety equipment in place. It's important for surviving family members, facing lost wages and medical costs, to know what legal rights they may have.

Source: New York Daily News, "Worker installing solar panels dies after falling from roof of two-story Queens house," Rocco Parascandola, Ellen Moynihan and John Annese, Oct. 19, 2017

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