In a grave turn of events, a construction worker lost his life on Thursday after the roof of a new building collapsed in Woodbury, New York. CBS reports that the accident occurred around 9 a.m. at the Jericho Water District Facility, located on Stillwell Lane in Syosset. A two-man team was in the process of constructing the building’s roof when the structure suddenly gave way.
Nassau County police told local news that the men were working on scaffolding when they heard a loud crack; about 30 trusses which supported the roof began buckling in a chain reaction. The workers quickly tried to escape the area, but as parts of the roof fell and shifted, one worker was pinned between a piece of building material and a nearby wall.
The rescue process was long and harrowing: For more than six hours, emergency responders worked with fire officials and private crane operators to extract the worker from this dire situation. Tragically, his injuries from being crushed against the wall proved fatal; he was pronounced dead on site.
The other worker, a 24-year-old man, fortunately survived with non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident is being investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) as well as Nassau County Police. According to the superintendent of the Jericho Water District, the new building was intended to store carbon filters for a larger water treatment plant.
While the decedent’s name has not been released, we extend our deepest sympathies to his fiancée, Clara Reyes, along with all of his loved ones. Reyes arrived at the scene on Thursday to discover an unfathomable nightmare—at age 49, her partner was robbed of his entire future. She told reporters he had always been a hard worker. They lived in Roosevelt, an area in Nassau to the southwest of Syosset.
The Preventable Dangers of Roof Collapses
Wall and roof collapses threaten the lives of construction workers on a regular basis. As the accident in Woodbury proves, the stakes could not be higher: Better safety measures would have likely spared the life of this worker.
When a roof collapses, any worker in the vicinity faces struck-by hazards. These types of accidents, which include instances of workers being pinned by falling objects, are a leading cause of death in the construction industry.
In many cases reported by OSHA, roof collapses were linked to various forms of negligence. Whenever people are tasked with working on a roof, or on the scaffolding around it, the parties responsible for construction site safety are required to ensure that the roof is stable and secure. This includes thorough inspection by trained personnel, and frequent monitoring for signs of damage caused by weather. The structure itself should be erected with sound engineering, building materials, and careful oversight of all procedures.
Legal Assistance for Construction Accident Victims
Although no attorney can undo the tragedy of a wrongful death, proper legal representation can help families recover financial compensation after such an event. The wrongful death lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are proud to provide compassion, expertise, and unmatched results in these circumstances.
Some of our results for victims of construction accidents include:
- $15,000,000 settlement for the surviving family members of an HVAC worker who was fatally crushed at a job site
- $10,875,000 verdict for a 35-year-old union worker impaled on a steel rebar
- $4,995,000 settlement for a worker who sustained serious injuries after the floor at a construction site collapsed