One construction worker has been killed and another injured in a tragic Queens construction accident. The accident occurred earlier this morning at 45-45 42nd Street in the Sunnyside section of Queens.
Reports indicate that the accident happened during the construction of a 6-story building in the working-class neighborhood of Sunnyside. The deceased worker was on the fifth floor when he fell through an elevator shaft and crashed down on to the unforgiving street below. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Another worker at the same job site was also struck by falling debris while he was working on the 4th floor.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. We hope that they are able to summon the strength it takes to get through these enduring times.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating the circumstances of the accident. Its investigation will be comprehensive and, if the past is a good indicator, should outline whether any safety violations contributed to this tragedy.
Some of the questions that need to be answered include:
- What type of work was being performed?
- Was the deceased worker provided the proper fall protection?
- Did the elevator shaft need to be open for the work to be completed?
- Could the elevator have been covered while workers were in the area?
- Were tools, objects and debris properly secured at the site?
- Were the workers given sufficient training and direction?
These questions and more will undoubtedly be covered by OSHA during its investigation. Sadly, though, none of the answers will satisfy the family of this worker. Construction work remains the deadliest industry in the country. Thirty-six workers died in New York on construction jobs in just 2011 and 2012 according to a report put out by Public Citizen. In 2013, there were 21 construction related deaths in New York according to OSHA. In 2014, the perils of construction work continue to be apparent. This particular fatal fall, ironically, occurred during the annual national week long stand-down to prevent construction falls promoted by OSHA. It also comes at a time when cynics are seeking to weaken worker safety laws. This tragedy serves as a stern reminder that these laws are one of the backbones of worker safety in New York State.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a firm that is known for its resolve in fighting for injured construction workers. Their work for injured workers is illustrative of their commitment to battle for the underdog. They have amassed more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their injured clients. To learn more about Block O’Toole & Murphy and their construction accident lawyers, you can review the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, you can call them at 212-736-5300.
For more information about the fatal construction accident see: http://www.ny1.com/content/news/209904/one-dead–one-injured-in-queens-construction-accident