Two veteran window washers were left dangling precariously outside the 68th floor of 1 World Trade Center recently when the scaffold rigging malfunctioned. Crowds and television crews gathered on the street nearly 827 feet below to watch as the FDNY worked to rescue the two men.

The window washers began the work day as usual – with a series of standard safety checks -before descending to the 43rd floor. With several years of experience working on New York’s skyscrapers between them, the men did not panic when the rigging became stuck as they reached the 68th floor later in the day. In a matter of minutes, the scaffold went from horizontal to almost entirely vertical.

Rescuers responded quickly by lowering safety ropes to the window washers and then cutting through the interior and exterior windows along the scaffold to bring the men inside. The ordeal took a little over 90 minutes before both men were rushed to Bellevue hospital with mild hypothermia.

Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration investigators and the Port Authority are inspecting the faulty scaffold rigging to determine the cause of the sky-high hazard.

According to the New York Daily News, the company responsible for installing the scaffolding at 1 World Trade Center, Tractel Inc., had been cited for unsafe conditions just seven years earlier. The incident caused two window washers to plummet 47 stories when their scaffold collapsed, killing one and permanently injuring the other. Investigators found that the scaffold had been improperly secured.

The lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP are proud to represent the victims of this potentially deadly scaffolding accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a scaffold-related incident, please do not hesitate to contact us to learn about our services. We have years of experience and a strong track record of success protecting those who have been injured or worse through someone else’s negligence.