Given their frequent use of complex equipment and heavy machinery, constructions workers in San Bernardino and throughout the rest of the U.S. are often at an increased risk for workplace accidents. State and federal guidelines are in place to help guarantee employee safety. However, when crews get behind and deadlines need to be met, often construction managers and crews will ignore safe practices to try and make up for lost time. Unfortunately, this increases the risks of accidents even more, and if and when they finally do happen, the results can be catastrophic.
Such was the case in a recent accident in New York City. A man was crushed to death when the walls at the site where he was working collapsed. The accident came even after it was alleged that inspectors had warned managers of the potential for danger leading up to the accident. Reports indicate that excavation trenches around the site had been dug up to 14 feet deep with no extra fortifications in place to support them. The law requires any digs greater than five feet to be supported.
Both construction managers overseeing the job were on-site when the accident happened. It was announced this week that criminal charges, including manslaughter and negligent homicide, would be brought against them.
Even in those cases where potentially negligent parties are facing criminal penalties, injured employees and/or their families are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as well as the right to initiate civil claims to help in affording the financial costs of workplace accidents. Challenging companies and contractors for compensation may be a lot easier if one has an experienced personal injury attorney on his or her side.
Source: The New York Times “Manslaughter Charges for Construction Managers After Queens Worker Dies in Pit Collapse,” David W. Chen, Aug. 05, 2015