Construction Worker Dies After Job Site Fall in Saratoga Springs

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

A 52-year-old construction worker named Nelson Bernard was rushed to Saratoga Hospital on the afternoon of November 22nd after sustaining fatal injuries on a hotel construction site. Two days later, on Thanksgiving Day, Bernard passed away at Albany Medical Center Hospital. 

Around 3:30 p.m. on November 22nd, Bernard was working on the $50 million expansion of the Adelphi Hotel as a concrete mason for Bast Hatfield Construction. He was positioned at an elevated height when he suddenly fell, possibly due to falling debris. Bernard sustained life-threatening injuries upon impact. 

Those on-site called emergency services, who arrived shortly after. Bernard was immediately rushed to Saratoga Hospital but soon after had to be transferred to Albany Medical Center Hospital due to the severity of his condition, where he later died. 

Upon arrival, the Saratoga Springs Police Department investigated the scene of the accident and consulted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of New York, which is now processing the incident. Bast Hatfield and Bonacio Construction, the two construction companies operating on the Adelphi Hotel site, are currently under investigation for violation of workplace safety standards following the incident. 

It has not been determined whether or not either Bonacio Construction or Bast Hatfield could be responsible for Nelson Bernard’s death. Inspections of work sites and related incidents such as this could take up to six months to resolve. 

The Danger of Falls & Falling Debris on Construction Sites

Unfortunately, an accident like Nelson Bernard’s is not out of the ordinary. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration includes falls as one component of what it calls the “Fatal Four.” The Fatal Four is a term that describes the four most deadly accidents that occur on construction sites. These include falls, strikes by objects, electrocutions, and compressions/crushing. 

Out of these four, falls account for the most construction deaths; 39.2% of all construction deaths in 2017 were the result of falls. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 275 construction workers annually have died by falling since 2011. 

In part, falls are so common due to their many causes. Common causes of fall injuries include improperly installed scaffolding, defective ladders, rough and slick surfaces, and unguarded ledges. 

Due to the nature of most construction sites, falls may seem inevitable. However, there are many ways to prevent tragic accidents such as these. Both employers and employees must be vigilant and work to prevent injuries and deaths. Installing guard rails along ledges, marking or clearing slippery surfaces, clearing elevated surfaces of debris, inspecting scaffolding for safety, and training employees to avoid fall hazards are all preventative methods to reduce falls. 

Falling objects are also a dangerous issue on construction sites. Potentially hazardous objects exist all over job sites, whether they be nails, glass, wood, bricks, or other miscellaneous debris. Due to the acceleration at which an object falls, even the smallest of objects can become fatal when released at a great height. Of course, larger, heavier objects pose an even greater risk when falling. The impact from falling objects can result in injuries to the face, head, and spine that may cause paralysis or death. 

Legal Help for Injuries Caused by Falling Objects 

If you have fallen on a construction site or been injured by a falling object, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Construction companies have a responsibility to prevent horrifying injuries that may be inflicted upon their employees or the public. 

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have recovered significant compensation for many clients in falling object cases, including: 

  • $110,174,972 verdict for a man paralyzed by a fallen railroad tie as he cycled under a subway line in Brooklyn, New York
  • $7,300,000 settlement for demolition worker who lost his right arm after being crushed by a steel beam
  • $3,411,000 settlement for building superintendent whose face was struck by a falling brick, causing dental damage and spinal injury

Reach out to consult a personal injury attorney today at no charge. Contact a Block O’Toole & Murphy lawyer today at 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form.


Free Initial Case Review

Fill out our short online contact form for a FREE, immediate case review, or call us locally at 212-736-5300 today. The lawyers in our firm work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect any money unless we win your case.