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Wonderland Pier Fall Highlights the Top Cause of Construction Deaths

Law Offices of James M. Curran

When we hear about catastrophic accidents at amusement parks, they typically involve visitors who fell or were thrown from a ride because it malfunctioned or they weren’t fastened in properly. However, those who build, maintain and repair these rides can be seriously injured or killed as well.

Early this month, a 62-year-old New Jersey man was killed when he fell from the Ferris wheel at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The man was the owner of a Swedesboro, NJ, company that was hired as a subcontractor to make repairs on the ride. The person who called 911 described him as a welder.

A Fatal Fall Occurred During National Fall Safety Stand-Down Week

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the company as well as the historic amusement park. An OSHA representative noted the sad irony that the fatal accident occurred during National Fall Safety Stand-Down Week. 

She noted, “It is a tragic reminder that all employers should take safety steps to protect the employees from fall hazards.” The OSHA area director echoed those sentiments, adding, “Worker falls are preventable with the use of proper fall protection.”

Falls from heights are the leading cause of fatal injuries for those who work in construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about a third of all construction-related deaths in 2020 resulted from falls. In New Jersey alone, nearly 40 people engaged in some kind of construction work have died in the past two years from falls.

Falls from significant heights, even when they aren’t fatal, can result in catastrophic and often life-changing injuries. It’s crucial for injured workers and their loved ones to seek the workers’ compensation and any other sources of benefits to which they’re entitled. This can help keep a family going financially when they’re dealing with medical costs, lost wages and more.

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