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Harness saves ironworker in fall at Children’s Hospital construction site

An ironworker working 14 stories high was injured Friday – but likely saved by a harness he wore – at the construction site for the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Without the harness that tied him to the building, he might have fallen to the ground, said Turner Construction Co. project manager Steven Perrigo.

He fell 3 feet until the safety harness caught him.

It’s not clear yet what caused the man to fall.

“You have all these safety procedures and policies in place, and it’s really validation for us to say that the procedures we had in place saved a man’s life today,” Perrigo said.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. The Ironworkers Local 6 member was installing steel decking on top of the new hospital at 51 High St.

His partner, who was working alongside him, “turned, and he was no longer there,” Perrigo said.

The harness caught him, and he was “safely brought to the working level,” where firefighters and emergency personnel responded and treated him.

He was transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center for evaluation, according to the statement from Turner. “He was conscious when he left the site, and was sitting up when he was in the ambulance,” Perrigo said.

Officials are still waiting to interview him to learn more about what happened. Perrigo said there was “no incident” and “he didn’t get struck by anything.”

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