Professors try their best to convince their architectural students that they “rule the world and the jobsite.” Many of them grow to believe that myth and some of them live that way. Few are well-versed on jobsite safety. Even if they are among the few who receive training, occasionally the most safety-conscious architect makes a simple mistake and pays for it with his or her life.
According to reports, Bruno Travalja, architect and owner of Crowne Architectural Systems in New Jersey, was doing an inspection and some last minute measurements on the 42nd floor of a mid-rise tower in New York City when he fell to his death in a tragic accident.
According to Fox News, Travalja had bent down to take a measurement for a glass enclosure for an outdoor terrace in the building that was undergoing renovations at 135 West 52nd Street. Reportedly, he stood up a little too fast, got dizzy and tumbled over the safety wall to the street below.
The tragic part of this story is that, according to Fox News he was wearing a safety harness but was not tethered to anything, a simple rule that he evidently violated perhaps from being rushed or just forgetting.
So, to all of you architects and engineers who think that you are above the safety rules on your new project, take notice. Those safety sessions and safety posters do not just apply to the construction crews on the site, they apply to you as well.
Every architectural firm in the country should have regular safety sessions, and the project architects should probably be required to go through OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 training before they set foot on the jobsite.
Our condolences go out to the family and the firm on this tragic accident.