In April 2016, the New York Times brought a story forward about a local construction worker who died after he was struck by debris and fell into a shaft at a construction site in Brooklyn. The officers responding to the scene stated that the man was unconscious. He was taken to the local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Unfortunately, falls just like this occur daily throughout the country – and New York construction sites are no stranger to deaths just like this one.
In a preliminary investigation into this particular incident, it was revealed that debris falling on top of the worker led to him falling into a shaft that went from the second floor to the first floor. The complaint stated that the debris came from a faulty ceiling, and no one else was injured.
Could the Accident Have Been Prevented?
It is hard to say if the accident could have been prevented or not – but the majority of deaths on construction sites are preventable, and often occur due to ignored safety standards. Because the construction industry is one of the deadliest industries for workers, it should be noted that falls and objects falling on workers are just one of many common injuries sustained on the job.
Understanding the Most Common Injuries on Construction Sites
There are some accidents that are more common on construction sites than others – and these accidents often lead to serious, life-threatening injuries. The accidents include:
- Improper scaffolding use. This can include falls or objects falling onto workers below from the scaffolding. Because construction crews spend a large majority of their time on these elevated structures, OSHA has strict rules for how they should be properly used to prevent deadly falls.
- Electrocution. This is one of the most common causes for death on construction sites (after falls). It is a common on-site hazard because exposed electrical wires put workers at high risk for electrocution and electricity burns.
- Elevator shaft falls. This is also common with high-rise buildings in New York. When these shafts are exposed, workers are at-risk for plummeting down them. Often, these shafts are left unprotected – which was the case for the man in Brooklyn this year.
- Falling debris. Falling debris can cause irreversible brain damage. In the case of the Brooklyn construction worker, the debris itself caused the man to fall to his death.
- Crane accidents. When employers do not maintain their cranes or do not have properly trained workers operating them, disastrous events can occur. These cranes can unbalance, fall over, or accidentally strike something that they were not supposed to.
What to do if You Are Injured
If you have been injured on the job, whether you are a contractor or direct employee, you need to contact an attorney who specializes in construction site accidents. While you are entitled to workers’ compensation, you may also be entitled to a third party claim against your employer, the property owner, or the equipment company – depending on the circumstances of your injury. To explore your options for compensation, contact the attorneys at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. today. We offer free case evaluations and can help you find the best option for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Schedule your consult now at 1-877-737-4806, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.