The New York City attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are following a fatal accident where a construction worker was killed today after being crushed by a forklift at a construction site.
The deadly worksite accident took place in the Maspeth section of Queens around 10:30 a.m. this morning. While the investigation is currently ongoing, early reports indicate that a forklift on the site became disabled. Workers used a second forklift to try and move the disabled forklift. The second forklift tipped over as they were attempting to move the disabled forklift. The second forklift landed on an unsuspecting 55 year-old man who was working at the site. The unidentified worker’s chest was crushed by the force and weight of this massive machine. He was rushed from a hectic scene by emergency personnel to Elmhurst Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
This forklift accident comes shortly after another worker was recently killed by a forklift in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. Forklifts can be dangerous when not operated appropriately. When a forklift is not used safely, an accident is likely to occur – – and there is no such thing as a minor forklift accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will lead what undoubtedly will be a thorough investigation into how this construction accident occurred. If safety protocol was not followed, there will be penalties levied. What are some of the safety concerns that OSHA will be examining?
- Operator Error: They will look at the training the operator received, the speed of the forklift at the time it tipped, whether turns and reverse movements were executed safely and whether the work was attempted to be done too fast.
- Equipment: They will scrutinize whether all appropriate tools and attachments were available.
- Durability: Was this machine in sound, working order with the appropriate amount of maintenance.
- Safe Loading Techniques: Was this forklift ever intended to move another forklift? How was it being moved? Were the two forklifts of comparable size and weight? In other scenarios, they may look at how what was being hauled was stacked, whether the weight of the load was excessive or whether the load impaired the view of the operator.
The investigation will shed light on many of these issues and more. The focus will likely be on whether the use of a forklift to move a disabled forklift was a safe technique. In all likelihood, this was not a well-thought out plan with a great deal of preparation. Rather, it was probably an intense, pressure packed decision with a focus on completing a job, rather than completing it safely. Unfortunately, this haphazard decision lead to a loss of life.
We will keep an eye on the investigation. What the investigation can never do is bring this innocent worker back. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim, his family and those that loved him. They must be going through a very challenging time. May they have the strength and character to endure this loss.
Construction work remains the most dangerous profession in New York State. It is why it is essential to maintain strong worksite safety laws. Block O’Toole & Murphy is proud to count many, many construction workers and their families as clients and friends. These Construction Accident Lawyers have been fighting for the rights of injured workers for more than two decades. Their results for injured construction workers is illustrative of their willingness to fight for the underdog. They have recovered more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their injured clients. You can learn more about these talented lawyers by reviewing the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. You can also call them now for a free consultation at 212.736.5300.