One of the many reasons that construction work pays well is that it is a relatively dangerous line of work. There is also much skill and education required for more complex roles in the construction industry, including electrical work, welding and other tasks. Every day, construction workers in New York and around the country risk their safety to help the country grow and provide for themselves and their families.
When construction workers end up severely injured or dead as a result of their career, the injured workers and their families deserve compensation for the losses. Depending on the situation, workers’ compensation benefits may help with medical bills, lost wages and even funeral costs. In cases where employer negligence or failures contribute to an injury, a lawsuit against the company may also be a viable option.
Recent accident demonstrates the need for proper equipment
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, a 33-year-old construction worker fell down an elevator shaft. He died at the scene of his fall as a direct result of his injuries. Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. The worker in question was part of a team installing an elevator car in a newly constructed 12-story hotel in Gramercy Park. This job site has had at least 17 other safety complaints in the last year.
Initial reports indicate that the site was staffed by non-union workers. Many times, companies hire non-union workers to keep costs low and may not invest as much as they should in safety training or equipment. In this case, it also seems that the construction worker who fell to his death was not attached to a safety line. Despite working nine stories up from the ground, he was not provided with safety equipment that would have saved his life.
The investigation on this case is still pending, but given the history of questionable practices and the unnecessary fatality, it’s possible that the worker’s family may have a claim to both workers’ compensation death benefits as well as a lawsuit against the construction company involved.
Construction workers deserve proper support from employers
Construction workers do their best to ensure that the buildings around New York are safe for inhabitants and those living, working and commuting nearby. Their employers should also do everything in their power to ensure that construction workers have proper safety gear and training when working in dangerous positions.
This tragic case may be the first fatality in New York construction for 2018, but it very likely will not be the last. Until employers and building companies put safety ahead of profits and speed, many more construction workers could end up severely injured, permanently disabled or dead as a result of simply trying to do their jobs.