Sadly, there has been another death of a window washer on August 26th. See The New York Times article here. There had been a death of a brother window washing team earlier in the month. See our article here.
The window washer, Robert Domaszowec, 49 years of age, fell to his death from a 17 floor building on lower Fifth Avenue. He had worked at the building for 20 years. It appears that new windows had been installed in the apartment, and the window washer bolts had been weakened. These bolts were on the opposite sides of the widow frame, and the window washer would attach his belt harness onto those bolts. It appears that bolts failed causing Domaszowec to plunge to his death. The Department of Buildings is investigating the responsibility of the building owner and others for compromising the bolts.
There is no question that window washing is a dangerous occupation. The local window washer’s union, Local 32BJ, has a good safety record in that the two deaths earlier in the month were the first in 25 years involving union washers. In comparison, non-unionized workers have a bad safety record.
Fortunately, once an injury or death occurs, the window washer and his family are afforded extra protections in a lawsuit under Labor Law 202. Here our prior article.
Nonetheless, in view of the recent spate of deaths, the Department of Buildings should re-visit window washer safety.