It was a sad day for health and safety  in New York the other day when two men were trapped outside a skyscraper's 46th floor.

According to the Independent, the workers were rescued after their metal rigging bent in half, leaving them trapped for 90 minutes.

The 26-year-old and 49-year-old remained calm throughout the ordeal, even smiling at a camera mounted on news helicopter. They escaped unharmed.

Hearst-Tower Although scaffold platform was designed to fold in the middle for easy transportation, the locking mechanism is supposed to hold the rigging flat while it is in use.

The locking mechanism had either broken or was not being used correctly at the time of the incident.

Firefighters cut open glass panels below the twisted scaffolding, set up around the city’s Hearst Tower skyscraper, and dragged the maintenance workers to safety.

Rather than drag the men up on to the roof of the building  firefighters removed a 4 x 4 foot section of glass window two floors below the mangled platform.

Firefighter Tom Gayron said: “We drill on this a lot - we practice this. It’s really just like when you’re training.

"You’re not really worried about how high. It’s just getting out there. You know, you’re worried about getting these guys in, and the training just takes over, and you just kind of do it.”

According to a recent report in New York Magazine, the window washing scaffolding system that operates around the Hearst Tower is one of the most complex in the city.

Once the men were safe, the next challenge was the scaffold, which still hung over the street.

Hearst-Tower-2So, following the incident, the rigging was raised to the top of the tower awaiting inspection by New York State’s Department of Labour.

The Hearst Tower is the world headquarters of the Hearst Corporation and the first green high-rise office building in the city.

Incidentally, if you want some safe scaffolding, take a look at ours.

With mobile access tower packs suitable for light trade, such as rendering, plastering, or window installation, to heavy-duty construction such as bricklaying or roofing, there’s something for all trades at Browns Ladders.