A pair of July accidents at New York City cites brought more tragedy, with two more workers dead. These terrible accidents are a reminder that, although construction is inherently dangerous work, too many sites are unacceptably dangerous. Also, these two men were immigrants and their deaths are a reminder that, often times, the burden of injury or death in New York City construction accidents falls heavily on immigrants.
You are entitled to work at a safe construction site. When that doesn’t happen, you are entitled to go to court and obtain fair compensation. That’s true regardless of your immigration status… even if you’re undocumented. For the advice and advocacy you need for your situation, look to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney to guide you through the process.
In the first accident, reported by the New York Post, a man who worked at a recycling facility in the Bronx was attempting to repair a bulldozer when he died. The 47-year-old worker was welding the bulldozer’s excavator bucket when that bucket dropped. It landed on the man and crushed him to death.
In a more recent accident, a 57-year-old worker in Queens died. The man was working at the Rockaway site when a wall collapsed and fell on him, killing him, mycentraljersey.com reported.
Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents are all too common. Being killed in a crushing accident at a construction site is one of the circumstances included in the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s “Fatal Four.” Number four is something OSHA calls “caught-in/between.” This includes any situation where the worker is caught in an object, caught between objects or is crushed by a “collapsing structure, equipment or material.” These accidents make up 5% of all construction fatalities.
So… what can I do?
If you’ve been hurt (or a loved one has been killed) in a crush accident in New York, you have options under the law, and you may have multiple options. New York law allows workers who were hurt due an “elevation-related risk of harm” to seek compensation in court. This type of lawsuit involves workers who fell, or workers hurt when objects fell on them. In the Bronx accident, the report stated that the deceased worker was wearing a hardhat. While a hardhat is a useful protective device, it is obviously not enough to protect a worker if a piece of machinery or equipment weighing several hundred or thousand pounds suddenly moves and falls on him. When you receive safety protection, but what you received was inadequate for the work you were doing, you are still entitled to seek compensation just as if you’d received no safety gear.
Additionally, the law allows injured workers to seek compensation if there was a violation of one or more New York safety regulations at the site and that violation was connected to the accident that caused the injury. In a lot of crush accidents where workers died or were injured, later investigation showed that the accident was the result of violations of safety codes and/or safety regulations.
If you’re hurt (or a loved one is killed) in a construction accident, you may not know where to turn for answers. Reach out to the skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates for the legal information and representation you need. Our team has many years of handling construction injury cases and helping injured workers and their families before during, and after trial.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.