Safety regulations are put in place to keep individuals safe. When those rules are ignored, the results can be fatal. Because of a situation like that, two contractors are facing criminal charges from a New York construction accident that killed a foreman. The worker was trapped under a cinderblock that was blown over by the wind.
During the construction of the wall, several safety regulations were ignored. The wall was too tall, too long, lacked reinforcement and did not receive proper inspections. Days before the incident, workers noticed the wall swaying in the wind. Later, when a gust of when came through the area, the 100-foot long wall toppled onto a 59-year old worker.
During the course of the construction project, both the contracting and subcontracting construction companies violated a wide range of building codes. For example, the wall was seven feet longer and five feet taller than what was specified in the engineering plans, and the vertical rebar was wider than the 24 inches that were specified in the plans.
Later inspections determined that the mortar work was insufficient and did not adhere to masonry units. In addition, there was no lateral bracing or temporary shoring and bracing used to stabilize the wall during construction.
The wall did not receive a proper inspection, and the project was not supervised by a professional engineer. According to the DA’s office, both are required by the city’s building code.
Currently, both the general contractor and the subcontractor who were in charge of the project are facing criminal charges. The general contractor is facing felony negligent homicide charges, and the subcontractor is facing charges for misdemeanor second-degree reckless endangerment.
Although both individuals said that the incident was an accident, that is not enough. Most accidents can be prevented by adhering to safety standards. Because of their negligence, a man was killed.
Source: SIlive.com, “Two charged in construction worker’s 2009 death in Bay Street building collapse,” John A. Annese, 8 April 2011