A worker died Monday after he fell about 50 feet from a building under construction in the Denny Triangle area of Seattle.
Workers on the site at 101 Taylor Avenue North said the 31-year-old man was an iron worker with North Coast Iron Corp. and it was his first day on the job.
Worker David Widmer said the man had unclipped his safety gear when moving from one place to another on scaffolding on the top of the building.
"When he went over to the other side is when he tripped over that darned welder and when he tripped over the welder is when he let go, I guess, and he went down," said Widmer.
Matt Oliver was just 20 feet away when he heard a helmet hit the ground.
"I picked it up and then I looked behind me and he was down on the street,” he said.
Investigators are now looking to see how this could have happened.
"It's a sad day for everybody," said Widmer.
Workers were sent home for the day.
"This devastates people," said Oliver. "It could have been any of us. It just really makes you open your eyes and realize how dangerous the job can be."
The parent company of the general contractor issued a statement saying "We are extremely saddened to learn of this incident, as safety of the employees and contractors we work with is our number one priority."
"We are working closely with governmental authorities and investigators to help gain a clear understanding of the events that lead up to this tragic incident.
Today is a sad day for our company. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The safety of our team and our partners we work with is a paramount value for our company."
Labor and Industries last inspected the site in November after concerns were raised over "fall protection." That inspection turned up no violations.