Pedro Corchado

Pedro Corchado Univision

Lives on Staten Island, injured in Manhattan / Construction worker Pedro Corchado explains how he fell 12 feet off a ladder at a Manhattan job site, sustaining serious injuries. He was not provided the proper and safe equipment under Labor Law 240 to perform his job.

I was installing piping for a fire suppression and sprinkler system at a job site in Manhattan when I fell off an A-frame ladder. My coworker and I were both on ladders to install a large pipe inside a hanger that holds the pipe in place. Once we finished installing the pipe, I took a step down the ladder and the ladder kicked out from under me, causing me to fall twelve feet.

There was no rope to use for tying off the ladder, there was nowhere to tie off, and there was no one available on the site to hold the ladder in place.

I hit the concrete ground on August 25, 2008, and felt immediate pain. I was brought to the trauma section of Harlem Hospital Center and diagnosed with several herniated discs in my lower back and neck, as well as nerve damage in my left leg. I received treatment and MRIs from my primary care physician and chiropractor. In November of 2010, I underwent fusion surgery for my spine and in December of 2012, I had surgery on my lower back. Today, I have trouble performing normal chores like cleaning and showering. I can’t sit too long or stand too long.

I worked in that job for five years before the accident and took great pride in my work. I loved constructing fire suppression systems because it helped prevent people from losing their lives in case of a building fire. Sadly, I won’t be able to work again in construction.

When I was injured, the contractor on my job blamed me for the accident, saying that I improperly used the ladder. The truth is that the contractor and owner controlled the safety of that job site and never provided me with the right equipment. I still got injured despite five years on the job and having passed an OSHA course on scaffolding.