Manhattan subway construction death leaves parents ‘incensed’

It is difficult for any parent to lose a child, whether it was because of an illness, an injury or a freak accident. What if a child had died at his or her place of employment and the employer denied any responsibility, citing a long history of safety? Like in this story, it would likely leave parents “incensed.”

In April, a 30-year-old construction worker was killed when a crane collapsed at a subway station in Manhattan. Following an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the man’s employer a subcontractor, was found liable for the accident. According to the Manhattan area director of OSHA, if the subcontractor had followed the necessary safety procedures for the worksite, the crane would not have collapsed and it would not have crushed the worker. The construction company, however, was only fined $7,000 by OSHA.

The case is not over, however, as the subcontractor is fighting the fine. It has said that it believes the preliminary findings that the company had failed to inspect the wire ropes on the crane, including on the boom hoist that actually fell, were inaccurate. A representative said that it would provide evidence that would show that it was not in the wrong and that this was merely a horrible accident. The parents of the man who died, however, are shocked and appalled that the subcontractor would try to deny its responsibility.

Regardless of how the appeals turn out, there are often legal options available to injured construction workers or the surviving family members of those employees who are killed in a New York City construction accident. Working with a workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if they are eligible and then applying for benefits may be an important step for anyone injured on the job or who has lost a loved one in a construction accident.

Source: Burlington County Times, “Company cited for crane accident that killed Burlington City man,” David Levinsky and Matt Chiappardi, Oct. 11, 2012

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