Liu Mai was nearly 80 feet off the ground at the time of the incident.
Liu said: ‘When I was using the electric drill, I felt my lower rope shaking. Then I saw the boy cutting the rope with a knife.’
Liu said he shouted at the boy to stop cutting the rope, but Chu did not listen. Soon after, the rope broke and Chu was left hanging onto a single rope for 40 minutes before firemen pulled him to safety.
Construction can be dangerous work, particularly when done at heights and on the outside of a building. Falls are the most likely accidents to cause death in construction. Each year, on average, between 150 and 200 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falls at construction sites. One third of all deaths in construction can be linked to falls from heights ranging from just a few inches to thousands of feet, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In 2010, reported OSHA, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. Such injuries not only endanger the lives of workers, but also cost businesses millions of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and lower productivity. These deaths are preventable and the majority of these accidents do not include ropes cut by others.
Hazards which cause the most fall-related injuries in the construction industry include, unprotected sides, wall openings and floor holes; improper scaffold construction; unguarded protruding steel rebars; and misuse of portable ladders.
Fall protection is critical to workers’ safety at heights. Then, not only is it important to choose the right type of fall protection for the job, equally important is to train employees how to properly use the chosen system.
The worker in China was extremely lucky to have the fall protection system he did.
The Daily Mail story cited is “Construction worker left dangling outside eighth-floor apartment for 40 minutes after 10-year-old cuts his safety rope because the work was drowning out his cartoons.”