Earlier this week, a New York City construction worker lost his life in the first fatal construction accident of the new year. One man was killed and three others were seriously injured when a wall collapsed at a Queens construction site.
The 26-year-old worker was pouring concrete into the spaces in a cinder block wall when the wall collapsed, taking the scaffolding the man was on with it. He and one other man were trapped between the scaffold and the wall, while two others who were on top of the wall at the time were also injured in the construction accident.
Although first responders arrived very quickly after the accident, they were not able to save the man’s life. He died after going into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. The other three men involved in the collapse suffered fractured bones and trauma. They were listed in critical but stable condition on Monday afternoon.
This accident follows multiple building violations at the work site. The Department of Buildings reported that the construction site had received notice of six violations since work began in June 2009. Those violations were primarily for problems like having construction equipment on the sidewalk or not posting proper signs regarding the construction.
The city has ordered work be stopped at the site until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as the New York City Department of Buildings conduct their investigations. They are working to determine what caused the wall to collapse and who is responsible for the accident.
New York City laws offer significant protections to injured workers and the families of those who suffer wrongful death at construction sites. The contractor and property owner will likely be responsible for the men’s medical bills, lost wages and other damages as well as wrongful death compensation for the family of the man who died.
Sources: New York Times, “Wall Collapse at Queens Construction Site Kills One Worker and Injures Three,” Liz Robbins and Mick Meenan, 10 Jan 2011