In just one week in April, three New York City construction workers were killed on the job. Each tragic death had a different specific cause, but the quick succession of fatal incidents has prompted concern from the Buildings Department about whether safety rules are being followed.
Though public awareness of the dangers facing construction workers has led to some changes, the three fatalities highlight major areas of continuing concern:
- Falling debris — While making repairs on the outside of a Manhattan building on April 8, Nelson Salinas was hit on the head by a capstone that was pulled loose by his scaffolding. The debris had fallen eight stories and the blow left him unconscious. Rescue crews brought him to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Though injuries have resulted from other types of scaffolding failure, this tragic incident demonstrates that care must be taken to keep the equipment from dislodging part of the structure.
- Falls — Erik Mendoza, a 23-year-old construction worker, fell from the top of a 13-story building in Brooklyn Heights on April 10 after only a week on the job. He and a co-worker were replacing bricks near a water tower on the roof. The accident underscores the need for developers, construction companies, city agencies and unions to be vigilant about safety when work is being done high above the ground, especially when less experienced workers are on site.
- Crane failures — Crane accidents in New York and elsewhere have led to stricter regulations but problems persist. In the early morning hours of April 13, Gregory Echevarria, 34, was killed while a crane was being set up at a Manhattan building site near the Holland Tunnel. An investigation found that the crane was lifting a counterweight that had to be put into position before the crane was fully extended. Part of the counterweight fell, resulting in a fatal blow to Echevarria and injuring two others.
Construction projects in all five boroughs pose a risk to the men and women who work on those projects. Whether it’s a crane collapse on a Midtown high-rise or a fall from the roof of a Staten Island home, determining who is liable for the accident and collecting full compensation for the injured victims requires knowledgeable legal support from a proven construction accident lawyer.
[ln::firm_name] represents New York construction workers who have been hurt on the job and the family members of fatal accident victims in wrongful death claims. To make an appointment for a free consultation, please call [ln::phone] or contact us online.