Construction Worker Killed by Falling Equipment at Brooklyn Site

A 46-year-old worker, identified as Pape Koule of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was fatally injured after being struck by falling equipment at a worksite in Brooklyn. According to a report in the New York Post, the worker was standing at the site on 1 Java Street in Greenpoint when an excavator arm fell on him. Emergency responders who arrived at the scene declared the victim dead.

Deadly Construction Site Accident

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is investigating this construction accident. DOB officials say their preliminary investigation has determined that workers on the site, who were in the beginning stages of a 14-story new building project, were using an excavator to transport pipes from one side of the construction site to the other.

While one of the workers was using straps to secure pipe posts to the excavator arm, the machinery failed. A large section of the arm, weighing about 2,000 pounds, specifically a lifting attachment, fell on top of the victim. Koule suffered severe body trauma and died at the scene. DOB officials issued a full stop work order at the site while inspectors from the city and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the incident.

A DOB statement said “additional potential enforcement actions are pending the result of those joint investigations.” The 728,000-square-foot site occupies an entire block and is envisioned as a mixed-use development with more than 800 residential rental units. According to the buildings department, Koule’s death marked the fifth construction-related fatality in New York City this year.

Struck-by Accidents

Contactors, construction companies and other parties have a duty to provide an environment that is safe for workers. This includes compliance with OSHA regulations, providing safety training and making worker safety a top priority. Being struck by objects or heavy equipment is one of the four major causes of fatal construction site accidents. About 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes, according to OSHA.

There have been about 700 workplace deaths due to these types of accidents every year for the past decade, and thousands of injuries annually that involve days away from work. Objects that unexpectedly or accidentally fall, roll, fly, slip, slide and swing can seriously injure a worker. Construction accidents involving workers who are hit by building materials, vehicles slipping off of jacks, etc. have a high fatality rate.

Compensation for Injured Workers

Injured construction workers do have rights. Whether you are union or nonunion, documented or undocumented, you have legal rights if you have suffered a serious personal injury on the job. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and thus have two sources of compensation.

Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party.

If you have been injured on the job, it is important that you take certain steps to protect your rights including reporting the incident promptly to your supervisor, getting medical attention and treatment and ensuring that crucial evidence from the accident scene is preserved and contacting a New York construction accident lawyer right away. It is also important that you document all your medical and other expenses relating to the injury.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job — one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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