Any workplace can become a dangerous one when the proper precautions are not taken to ensure that employees are kept safe. This danger is amplified when there is a construction accident, due to the nature of the equipment often found on construction sites.
Injured workers and their families do not have to suffer alone after a construction accident, and have many options to try and make their lives as normal as possible again. Workers can receive reimbursement on their medical bills and lost wages. They may also be able to obtain Social Security Disability payments.
Now, in addition to these remedies, New York workers could also expect criminal convictions against their employers for serious safety violations. Two contractors have been criminally convicted after a man was fatally injured on a construction site.
This man, a construction foreman, was killed after a cinder block wall collapsed on him. This wall, built by the contractors, was over 100 feet long and 60 feet tall. It collapsed after a strong wind because the structure was not properly reinforced. The wall did not adjoin any other surface and was not braced appropriately.
Before its collapse, workers saw this wall swaying in the wind. However, the contractors allowed the job site to remain open, risking the safety of their employees.
While these types of criminal convictions have not been common, they can bring peace to injured workers and their families by bringing the employers responsible for their injuries to justice. They may also help employees in their civil cases against employers.
Employers are very concerned with these accidents because when an employee is injured on the job, that employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits include lost wages and other entitlements, depending upon the severity of the injury and the resulting disability status and its level of permanency.
Source: silive.com, “2 convicted in fatal 2009 Staten Island construction accident,” Frank Donnelly, Mar. 5, 2012