The family of a 44-year-old construction worker who was killed in a construction accident after he was struck by falling debris the day before Thanksgiving is asking for a through investigation into the tragic incident, which they say was due to unsafe conditions at the worksite. According to a Pix11 news report, the worker was on the job at a construction site in Brooklyn with two of his sons when he was crushed to death by falling debris.
One of his sons said during a press conference that he pulled his father out from under a metal wall that fell on him. He says the wall fell because of high winds. The victim’s son also told the media that no one should have been working on the roof that day given the windy and dangerous conditions. Crane operators at the site had earlier refused to use the crane due to the high winds.
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a statement that a wall panel being carried by a forklift tipped over and landed on the worker, crushing him. The DOB issued a violation to the general contractor on the project for a failure to safeguard the construction site and also delivered a full stop work order for the site.
DOB officials said they might issue additional enforcement actions after the investigation concludes. At issue in this investigation is why the contractor decided to use the forklift on a windy day when crane operators had refused to use the crane. Investigators are looking into whether the decision to use the forklift was a way to work around the crane operators’ decision.
Being struck by an object is one of the leading causes of construction-related fatalities. Workers are most often hit by heavy equipment and vehicles such as trucks, cranes and forklifts, or by falling or flying objects and loads dropped by cranes and forklifts. Contractors and construction companies have a duty to protect workers from being struck by falling and flying objects at worksites. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes.
In 2016, New York City announced new regulations to promote crane safety after a crane collapse in TriBeCa killed one pedestrian and injured three others. Under this new law, all crawler cranes defined as cranes with tracks must be secured when winds are forecast to consistently exceed 20 mph. This was done not just with the safety of pedestrians and passersby in mind, but also for the workers who are often in danger of getting crushed by cranes that collapse in high winds or by their loads that can drop and injure the workers at the site.
Workplace safety can play a crucial role in reducing and preventing these types of construction accidents, which often result in catastrophic, disabling injuries or fatalities. Safety training, personal protective equipment for workers, engineering controls, safety protocols and other solutions may be implemented to prevent struck-by injuries among construction workers.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident may be able to seek death benefits. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore 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. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If you have suffered injuries in a construction 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.
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 and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been 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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