Roofer Falls into Vat of Nitric Acid in Northern New Jersey

A construction accident in Clifton, New Jersey has left a 44-year-old ironworker in critical condition after he fell about 40-feet from the roof of Swepco Tube LLC, a metal tube manufacturing plant, into a vat of diluted nitric acid. According to an article posted on, the construction worker suffered a broken rib, punctured lung, and burns to his side and legs. He is in critical condition at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, but is expected to survive. His injuries may have been much worse had his coworkers not come to his rescue.

The construction crew, working for Flemington-based Gar Con Enterprises, was beginning work on replacing the roof at Swepco, which had been eaten away by years of acid steam and mist rising to the roof from the chemical tank. As soon as the worker fell into the vat of nitric acid solution, four coworkers rushed to his rescue. They were able to pull the injured worker to safety; causing injury to themselves in the process. One coworker suffered burns to his legs and abdomen while others suffered burn irritations to their hands and/or arms.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the New Jersey chemical accident. According to the Clifton Fire Chief, the contractor did not obtain a building permit for the roof replacement, which would have prompted safety inspections of the roof before or during the roofing work. Had a permit been obtained and an inspection been made, the worker may never have fallen through the roof.

If a contractor, subcontractor and/or property owner is negligent in his or her duties, whether by not obtaining a building permit, failing to inspect or monitor worksites, failing to provide properly working and adequate safety equipment, or, by virtue of creating any other workplace or equipment hazards, they place the health and safety of workers and the general public at risk.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Jersey construction accident as the result of negligence on the part of a contractor, subcontractor, or other third party, the experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Blume Forte can help you determine whether you may have a meritorious claim. To learn more about your rights and potential options, contact us at 973-845-4421 for a no-cost consultation.

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