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New York construction site accident claims life of worker in fall

It is important for workers and their families to be familiar with their rights and how to enforce those rights following a workplace accident. A worker was recently killed in a construction accident in New York in what was described as a preventable accident. The 59-year old construction worker fell 18 feet from an I-beam close to the second floor of the building as he was helping remove a steel deck from a slab. The worker died at the hospital as a result of the construction site accident. A representative for the city Buildings Commissioner said the man should have had tie offs with the personal protection equipment that he was wearing at the time of the accident.

The construction job has been shut down following the accident. The representative for the Buildings Commissioner further noted that workers are being put at risk and that the job site should have been a lot safer than it was. He noted safety inspections throughout the city will be increased. A neighbor of the worker who was killed noted that he had been hurt on a construction site before. Those who knew the worker said safety was a priority for him and he would have sought to use a safety harness.

The contractor named on the project was cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in March with 7 serious violations following a complaint concerning unsafe job conditions at the job site where the recent fatal accident took place. OSHA issued $19,200 in fines that the contractor is contesting. Additionally, the contract was cited for 2 violations last year at another job site in New York for inadequate scaffolding protection. The contractor was issued $17,746 in fines at that time.

Workers have a right to a safe workplace and an expectation that a safe workplace will be provided. As a result, workers and their families have a variety of protections they should be familiar with, including workers' compensation options, when they have been harmed on a job site.

Source: New York Daily News, "Construction worker, 59, killed in 'completely preventable' plunge at Times Square site," Molly Crane-Newman, et al., April 12, 2017

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