Falling objects are a common hazard at worksites as illustrated by a tragic construction accident that occurred last week on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. The worker was part of the crew rebuilding sections of the sea wall.
The accident occurred around 8:30 AM when an 18-foot sewer pipe fell from a forklift and crushed the 55-year-old Staten Island man.
Apparently a strap holding the pipes gave way as the worker was unloading the heavy pipes from a flatbed truck. The loose pipe tumbled directly onto the worker, who was pronounced dead at the scene. According to other employees working on the project, the pipes weigh several thousand pounds.
Sadly, one of the witnesses to the accident was the man’s 19-year-old son who was also working on the project.
Two other workers suffered minor injuries and were taken to Belleview Hospital.
Law enforcement reports indicate that the worker who died was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 15. He was employed by Bedford Construction, one of several companies involved in the project to rebuild the sea wall.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the construction accident.
Source: New York Post, “Engineer crushed beneath falling pipes on Governors Island,” Jul. 5, 2013.