Tape measure plunges 50 storeys and kills man in US

A man delivering materials to a high-rise under construction in America died in a freak accident on Monday when a tape measure fell from the belt of a worker on the building’s 50th storey and hit him in the head.

Police in Jersey City said the plunging tape measure glanced off a piece of metal 10 feet off the ground before striking 58-year-old Gary Anderson, who was delivering sheet rock to the luxury tower under construction.

At around 8.45am Anderson stepped out of his truck and walked toward the building, leaving his safety helmet in the vehicle, The New York Daily News reported.

A police report said: "Mr. Anderson immediately went down to the ground."

He was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, where he died just before 10am.

A supervisor for AJD Construction, a contractor working on the project, said safety protocols require anyone on site to wear a helmet, according to Carly Baldwin, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Public Safety. 

Anderson was not an employee of that company, the newspaper reported.

Construction work was stopped at the site after the accident.

The luxury high-rise at 70 Christopher Columbus Drive, which is nearing completion, is part of a development that includes a hotel and two additional rental buildings.

Reports said it is one of Jersey City’s biggest development projects.

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  1. It is not clear as to what angle the tape measure hit the worker in the head and my quetion would be whether span forms were being used low down on the scaffolding and whether a Safety helmet would have saved the mans life.
    Also was the tool belt approved and if so why were ‘fall arrest’ devices in place for tools such as a tape measure.
    This is not so much of a freak accident as one which probably has any number of near misses associated with it.

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