A worker on the 50th floor was attempting to unhook the tape measure from his belt when he accidentally dropped it. The device only weighs around 1-pound but was travelling at almost 140 mph by the time it struck a piece of metal near to ground level.

The tape measure then ricocheted off the metal pipe and struck victim Gary Anderson, who was talking to someone through the window of his car, on the head.

Construction Worker Killed By Falling Tape Measure

Tape measure accident: Safety measures

The deceased was not wearing his hard hat at the time of the incident, and had left it in the back of his car. The freak accident occurred at the site of two partially built residential towers at 70-90 Columbus Drive in Jersey City.

Although this kind of incident does not occur everyday, a former construction worker reiterated the necessity of adequate safety equipment.

“You don’t work in this environment without a hard hat,” he said. “He paid the price. You gotta have it.”

Tape measure accident: An unfortunate incident

Anderson worked for New York-based trucking company George Hildebrandt Inc. as an independent contractor, and was delivering a load of drywall at the time of the accident.

He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center after he was hit, and the police report details that he went into cardiac arrest while doctors were treating him. He was pronounced dead at 9:52 a.m. local time.

Colleagues offered their condolences and said that Anderson was a “very good worker” who had “been with us for a long time”.

The family of the deceased did not comment when a reporter called their home in Somerdale, NJ. The person who answered the phone told the caller that it was a “difficult time.”

My condolences go to the family of the deceased, who was the victim of a truly freak accident. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is carrying out an investigation into the incident.