A little more than six months ago a 30-year-old construction worker was killed when a crane collapsed on him at a construction site. The workplace accident happened during construction of a Manhattan subway in early April of this year and the New York company whose crane collapsed, along with a subcontractor have been fined for safety violations. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Yonkers Contracting Company with 10 safety violations at the construction site at 34th Street in Manhattan. Another company, J&E Industries was also cited with one violation in connection with the construction accident.
Yonkers Construction has been fined $68,000 in connection with the accident. J&E Industries has been fined $7,000 for its one violation. OSHA issued the citations last week after the agency concluded that Yonkers Contracting did not conduct the required inspections of the wire ropes used in the hoisting of materials. That includes the boom hoist which broke causing the fatal accident. According to OSHA these inspections are required prior to each work shift.
Other violations included improper training or lack of training for crane riggers, allowing a worker inside the area where the crane could fall and not conducting required annual testing of the hoist to ensure proper functioning. A statement issued by OSHA said that “Fundamental, vital and required safety practices” were simply not followed resulting in the loss of a worker’s life. It went on to say the construction worker’s death could have avoided had the companies followed proper safety procedures.
The attorney representing the parents of the construction worker killed in the accident said the couple was “stunned” by the penalties assessed by OSHA and were “incensed” when they learned the company receiving the majority of the violations planned to appeal the decision. According to the attorney, the couple was dismayed to learn their son’s life was worth so little and were further dismayed when they learned the company responsible publically declared it has a “solid safety record.”
Although the parents of the deceased have hired an attorney, there was no report on whether they have filed or plan to file a wrongful death suit against either or both the companies cited by OSHA. In addition to workers’ compensation for their loss, they may also be entitled to further damages, including punitive damages, should a judge and or jury deem the companies acted with gross negligence in violating standard safety procedures at the construction site.
Source: Courier Times, “Company cited for crane accident that killed Burlington City man,” David Levinsky and Matt Chiappardi, Oct. 11, 2012
Our New York City personal injury law firm handles a range of workplace accidents and wrongful death claims similar to the one discussed in the above post.