Construction work can be a dangerous occupation. Construction accidents can devastate not only the building project, but the lives of injured workers or the families of workers who are killed in accidents.
Over the past several years, the number of construction accidents in New York City has gone up from 119 per year to 157 per year. Additionally, deaths from construction accidents have gone up from four to seven per year. Employers are responsible for providing a safe environment for their workers. While some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, proper safety training and safety equipment can not only help prevent injuries but also save lives.
Several families in New York are currently dealing not only with grief over their loved ones who have been killed in construction accidents, but also with the construction company’s promise to pay for the workers’ funerals. One construction worker was killed and another experienced serious injury when they fell 30 feet when a building’s roof collapsed.
Just 10 minutes prior to the accident, one other construction worker had walked off the site due to unsafe conditions. The roof was apparently loaded with cinderblocks, a cement mixer and other construction equipment. After the accident, the construction company offered to pay for the funeral of the deceased worker, but decided not to the next day, leaving the victim’s family to pay $11,000 in expenses.
Construction accident victims may be entitled to workers’ compensation, including medical care, temporary or permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation ensures that workers are not financially ruined because of something that happened to them on the job.
Depending on the circumstances, if it can be shown that negligence was involved, the construction company itself may be liable. Other parties such as third-party contractors, property owners or manufacturers of the equipment may also be liable if it can be proven that they or their product contributed to the accident. If a construction worker is killed while working, that person’s family may be able to bring a wrongful death suit for damages as well.
Source: The Local, “Widow Struggles After Building Collapse,” Chris Dell, Sept. 28, 2012