He fell, and his fall-arrest safety equipment failed.
I'm a contractor (non-union) and so was he (union).
The last I heard, the company, of course, AND the union threw him under the bus. They are claiming that if he had thoroughly inspected his equipment before using it (which is a mandatory rule), he would have known it was defective. I'm very surprised the union bailed on him, and I'm not sure what's up with that. The official statements have been vague to none, they tend to keep these things very close to the vest.
I'm sure that I'll be under much scrutiny, as the OSHA and MSHA crews will be hanging around for quite some time.
My company instantly said they would update my equipment with brand new stuff ($$$). The other company instantly came out with new requirements that I'm not sure my company has any interest in complying with. I reminded them of the new requirements, which have been reviewed, acknowledged and signed off by my company, but I haven't had a reply yet.
I hope the other guy's wife / family end up very wealthy. I suspect they will.