Brooklyn Construction Worker Fatally Struck by Falling Equipment

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

On Monday, September 12, 2022, a Brooklyn construction worker lost his life in a tragic accident at a work site at 1 Java Street in Greenpoint. Around 9:00 a.m., 46-year-old Pape Khoule was crushed by a 2,000-pound piece of equipment that fell onto him. This incident sadly marks the fifth construction-related death in New York City this year.

Workers at 1 Java Street were in the preliminary stages of a 14-story building project run by developer, Lendlease. The building is envisioned to be a mixed-use property, containing more than 800 rental units as well as retail space.

According to initial reports from Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Eric Ulrich, workers were using an excavator to move pipes from one area of the site to another. “One of the workers was using straps to secure pipe posts to the excavator arm, the machinery failed, and a large section of the arm (specifically a lifting attachment) fell on top of the worker,” he said.

Khoule was pronounced dead at the scene. Our hearts are with his loved ones who remember him as a kind, hard-working father.

Khoule lived in Elizabeth, NJ with his wife and children. Following work days that often exceeded 12 hours, Khoule would still be the first to offer help to friends and family in need. His neighbor, John Pietz, 34, described him as a “good man.” He voiced his doubt that the accident could be Khoule’s fault, saying, “He knew what the hell he was doing. He worked with all types of tools over here. He’s been doing it for years.”

Investigations into this accident are being conducted by city officials as well as officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In the meantime, a full stop work order was issued by the DOB. Officials say additional enforcement actions are pending investigation results.

We hope these investigations will be able to shine light on what led to this catastrophic accident and help prevent future accidents from injuring others. Investigators will need to determine whether site leaders implemented necessary safety measures mandated by state and federal laws.

Job site leaders, which include site managers, superintendents, supervisors, and contractors, are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their workers. If a worker is injured in an accident that occurred as a result of a site leader’s failure to adhere to mandated safety standards, the site leaders may be held liable for resulting injuries and damages. In such a situation, an injured worker may wish to pursue a negligence claim against their employer.

In the aftermath of a construction accident, it can be difficult to figure out how to bring a legal case alone. It may be in a victim’s best interest to consult a skilled construction accident lawyer who can help them navigate the complex legal process.

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand the life-altering effects a construction accident can have. Our expert legal team will fight on your behalf to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Our proven track record for helping injured construction workers includes:

  • $15,000,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for an HVAC worker who was fatally crushed by a 28,450-pound chiller unit that fell as a result of inadequate chain usage
  • $7,300,000 settlement for a construction worker who lost a limb as a result of a 10,000-pound steel beam falling onto him
  • $7,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who was hit in the face by a metal clamp that fell onto him while he was working on dismantling a scaffold

If you or a loved one were injured in a construction accident, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our online contact form to speak with one of our construction accident attorneys today.


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