Construction sites are often inherently dangerous. Construction workers work with large complicated machines, near speeding traffic or high above the ground. In each of these situations, workers face a high risk of being injured in a construction accident.
However, there are safety precautions that employers can take to make construction sites as safe as possible and to protect their employees from workplace injuries. As mentioned in this blog in the past, in New York there are even specific laws that protect construction workers.
Despite the legal protections afforded to construction workers, workplace accidents still occur. These accidents often cause construction workers to suffer serious injuries and, in some cases, even cause death.
There are many consequences for employers who do not take the proper safety precautions to protect their employees from construction accidents. In one recent New York case, one contract crane rigger has faced criminal charges and has had his license revoked after an accident.
In this case, the employer failed to follow operating instructions, used broken machinery and took unsafe shortcuts while doing work. In 2008, seven construction workers were killed at a construction site.
The man faced criminal charges for the deaths but ultimately was acquitted. Furthermore, he faced an administrative hearing where he lost his operating license. He tried to appeal this loss, but the New York Supreme Court has ruled that his appeal was not filed in time.
Injured workers also have other options against their employers. They may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which can give workers some financial security if the worker is temporarily injured or unable to return to work. Furthermore, if the workers are fatally injured in accidents, like those in this case, their families may have a wrongful death claim.
In a wrongful death claim, a family can be compensated for their loss. While these claims can never fully compensate for the loss of a family member, they can help ease the financial burdens created in their absence.
Source: New York Daily News, “Crane rigger in deadly midtown collapse won’t get license back,” Barbara Ross, May 21, 2012