January 4, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Worker Survives 50-Foot Fall into a Dumpster

Image: Ithaca Voice

What happened to cause a construction worker wearing fall protection to plummet 5 stories?

When Ithaca police, the fire department, and an ambulance responded to a call to 709 West Court St. in Ithaca, NY, on December 14, just after 5:00 pm, they found a 37-year-old male constructor worker alive in a dumpster. They determined the worker had fallen between 45-55 feet and had landed on debris, which acted like a cushion to break his fall.

The worker fell from the roof of a 5-story building under construction. The ambulance called for a helicopter but it was unable to make the trip due to weather. The teams worked together to secure the worker to a backboard and place a cervical collar on him, as well as a splint for an arm injury. The ambulance then transported the worker to Robert Packer Trauma Center in Sayre, PA.

Interviews with witnesses revealed that the worker had been wearing fall protection but unclipped his gear to go home for the day. They speculated that he may have slipped. The City of Ithaca weighed in that it is currently unclear if weather played a role in the incident.

Followups by Ithaca Police Department are expected to bring further details about the incident.

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