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Construction Worker Has Legs Severed by Falling Object in Long Island

A 39-year-old construction worker in Long Island had his legs severed after a large steel plate knocked him into a 10-foot hole and then landed on top of him at a construction site in Roslyn Heights, Long Island on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

The worker was performing roadwork which involved installing gas piping near Corncrib and Locust Lanes when the accident occurred at around 8 a.m. Police officers from Nassau County were able to quickly climb into the hole and apply tourniquets to the wounds to control the bleeding. The worker was then rushed to the hospital where he is now in stable condition.

Various reports indicate that the work was being performed by the power company Grace on behalf of National Grid. Other workers who were at the site said that the victim had started just a few days before the accident occurred. As of this writing, neither Grace nor National Grid has provided more details or an official comment on the accident.

Residents near the construction site are already acutely aware of the presence of the company and their work. Neighbors near the site have recently complained that the company "tore up the roadway and repaved it twice" in only a two-month span. "This road has been a nightmare," neighbor Shanita George told the New York Daily News.

The Daily News also reports that, just last week, another neighbor named Liza Nathan complained to CBS-2 that trucks, portable toilets and other vehicles were clogging the roadway and making life difficult for the residents near the construction site. "We honestly feel like we're in a war zone," Nathan reportedly told CBS-2.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim of this horrible accident, as well as to his friends and family who now have to deal with the new reality such an accident creates.

Unfortunately, this accident illustrates the immense danger posed by construction related work, in particular falling objects at a work site. According to recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,687 Americans workers lost their lives after being struck by a falling object between 2011 and 2017, an average of 241 every year.

Unfortunately, construction workers are especially prone to falling object accidents, due to the fact that much of their work occurs either at an elevation or in some type of trench, where there is always the danger of building materials or tools falling and striking somebody. Due to gravity, a falling object gains speed at about 22 mph every second, endangering workers below no matter what kind of object falls, let alone a heavy metal plate.

And while it is not yet understood how it occurred, this accident began when the man was knocked and fell into the 10-foot hole. To that end, falling accidents are by far the biggest danger to construction workers, regularly leading OSHA's 'Fatal Four,' or the four most common causes of fatal accidents involving construction workers. In 2017 alone, 366 construction workers lost their lives in a falling accident.

There is much more information that needs to come out to try and make sense of this horrific accident. What caused the worker to be knocked into the ditch in the first place? Was the heavy steel plate swinging freely? Why wasn't it secured or properly rigged to ensure such a heavy piece of equipment didn't become a falling object hazard?

Answers to these questions will not be able to undue the physical, mental and emotional trauma caused by such a catastrophe, but they may help to bring some measure of justice. In the wake of a tragedy such as this, medical bills and lost wages could be substantial, and a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to receive the compensation the victim deserves.

An experienced construction accident attorney will handle the legal procedures so that the victim can focus on his health and recovery, which is what's most important. The experienced lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have a long history of winning construction accident lawsuit results, such as:

  • $12,000,000 settlement for a tunnel worker who was badly injured when he fell 40 feet into a ventilation shaft while working on a subway extension project in Manhattan
  • $7,400,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered severe spinal injuries in a falling accident in Brooklyn, leaving him unable to return to work
  • $7,300,000 settlement for a worker who needed to have his right arm amputated after he fell and had a steel beam land on the right side of his body at a Brooklyn construction site

Receive a one-on-one case review from an experienced lawyer at Block O'Toole & Murphy by calling 212-736-5300 -- there is no charge until we win your case.

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