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3 Workers Hurt in Roof Collapse in Jefferson County, New York

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, three workers were injured--one critically--when several roof trusses collapsed in Jefferson County, New York. A truss is a collection of rafters or beams that supports a roof or other structure, forming a framework. According to State Police, construction workers in LeRay, New York were setting up this framework on a structure at Black River Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. when strong winds caused the beams to tumble, injuring the three workers who were on or in the structure at the time.

One of the workers, 38-year-old Lee M. Trickey of Theresa, New York, suffered severe internal injuries when he fell approximately 40 feet after the roof collapsed. Trickey was airlifted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, where he remains in critical condition. The two other workers, 38-year-old John J. Turpin of Carthage and 29-year-old Lucas C. Conklin of Watertown, who were on the ground inside the structure, sustained slightly less severe injuries and were transported to Carthage Area Hospital and to Samaritan Medical Center, respectively.

We hope these three workers make a speedy and full recovery after this harrowing accident.

As evidenced by the incident, construction is one of the most dangerous occupational industries in the United States, and roofing accidents can be especially risky. In fact, more than one-third of fall deaths in residential construction are caused by falls from roofs, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As part of a 2017 regulation (Local Law 196), the New York City Department of Buildings now requires that individuals who work in construction receive a certain amount of DOB training in order to work on construction sites in New York City. This includes Fall Prevention Training, which provides training for workers on how to recognize, avoid, and minimize hazards on the job; OSHA requires this training for workers nationwide who may be exposed to fall hazards as well.

A thorough investigation is required to determine if proper safety measures were put in place at the Jefferson County site. For instance, did the site have an adequate protective system for laborers working at high altitudes, and did workers have proper instruction for working in hazardous conditions? Even the most experienced workers face unpredictable fall hazards, including loose roofing materials, sudden gusts of wind, and surfaces that become slick when wet, but taking the proper precautions can significantly reduce injury or even death. While the investigators work to determine a cause, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this accident and their families.

The experienced construction accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have a long history of winning top compensation for people who have been injured in construction accidents, such as:

  • $12,000,000 settlement for a Local 147 Union worker who suffered multiple injuries, including organ damage and blindness, after he fell 40 feet on a Manhattan construction site
  • $11,000,000 settlement for a masonry foreman who sustained multiple fractures that required surgery after he fell through an unsecured hole cover
  • $10,875,000 jury verdict for a union worker who was working on a Brooklyn rooftop when he fell and was impaled by steel rebar, leading to massive internal injuries

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a construction accident, call 212-736-5300 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation, or fill out our online contact form to speak to a qualified attorney.

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