Orange and white, the colors of the "Experience Is Not Enough" campaign, were displayed last week in the lighting of the Empire State Building.

Fall Protection Campaign Targets NYC's Leading Accidents Cause

New York City's buildings commissioner, Robert LiMandri, announced the citywide campaign's launch last week to emphasize the need to use fall harnesses, guardrails, and netting.

The most common construction accident in New York City last year was a worker falling from height. That's why Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, who heads the city's Department of Buildings, on April 25 announced the start of a citywide campaign urging construction workers to use fall harnesses, guardrails, and netting. The multilingual campaign is called "Experience is Not Enough."

LiMandri timed the announcement for the start of the department’s Build Safe/Live Safe conference and its 7th Annual Construction Safety Week. The Empire State Building was lit in orange and white to display the colors of the "Experience Is Not Enough" campaign.

Thousands of posters and banners, including some in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Polish, will be distributed to construction sites throughout the city. "Experience alone does not make you invincible," said LiMandri. "A worker falling is a tragic accident that can be easily prevented, and this new campaign reminds workers and their supervisors to take steps in order to protect themselves, their colleagues, and the public. No matter how many years you have worked in construction, you can lose your life if the appropriate safety measures are not in place."

The department said 42 percent of all accidents reported to it in 2010 were falls, and 16 construction workers have died since 2008 because they lacked basic fall protection. In February 2011, after two ironworkers, ages 49 and 51, died in 65-foot falls while installing a steel beam at a job site, departmental investigators discovered safety harnesses were on site at the time of the accident but weren't being used.

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