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Parents of Worker Killed In Crane Accident Awarded $1 Million

crane at WTC site.JPG

A 30-year-old man was killed when a frayed cable snapped and caused him to be crushed by a tractor crane that collapsed on an MTA project in 2012. His parents will be awarded up to $1 million in a wrongful death judgment because of the crane accident.

Yonkers Contracting will provide the settlement after being issued 10 violations and $68,00 in fines concerning the incident. However, nearly 16 months after the mane died in the crane accident, with the $1 million settlement comes no admission of wrongdoing from Yonkers Contracting, who owns the crane.

The victim's mother, who remains grief-stricken, feels the company killed the young construction worker.

The worker was crushed on April 3, 2012, after a tractor crane collapsed at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's No. 7 subway, which has been undergoing extensive reconstruction in an extension project. The victim had been working below the crane when its operator swung the boom to lift a piece of rebar. At that time, the wire cable snapped, causing the boom to collapse onto a roof deck. The resulting impact dislodged concrete and steel, which fell and crushed the 30-year-old.

Federal investigators determined the cable holding the crane's 160-foot boom was previously frayed before it snapped, and that the crane owners were negligent toward its safety, concluding it to be a contributing factor to the accident.

Subsequently, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found Yonkers Contracting to have neglected the proper inspections of the aging crane, and with that issued 10 violations and $68,000 in fines.

"Had the proper procedures been followed, this incident and this worker's death could have been prevented," remarked Kay Gee, area director of OSHA, upon release of the findings last fall.

While Yonkers Contracting contested OSHA's findings, stating there was adequate inspection of the crane before each shift by licensed and properly trained personnel, the contractor's insurance company, Liberty Mutual, agreed to settle the suit, with the court to still approve the settlement.

Even so, the mother says the $1 million sum could never compensate for her loss.

Workplace accidents can happen as a result of unfortunate, hapless chance, but preventable accidents that cause injury or death to innocent workers is never acceptable, which is why OSHA and other advocates are out there to protect your well-being and the safety those you love.

Source: New York Daily News, "Parents of construction worker killed in crane accident given $1 million settlement" Greg B. Smith, Aug. 20, 2013

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