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New York construction company fined by OSHA after worker killed

Construction sites do not have to be dangerous. When proper safety procedures are followed, construction accidents can be avoided. However, all too often, employers believe they can get away with not following safety rules and regulations. In these situations, construction sites can become hazardous places for workers and those near the site.

In April, a crane collapse in New York led to the death of one construction site worker and injured four other workers. Recently, Yonkers Contracting Company, the company that owned the crane, has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

After investigating the accident, it was noted by OSHA that proper safety precautions were not used at the construction site and this directly led to the death of the worker. In fact, OSHA claims that there were serious violations occurring at the job site. These violations included not properly training the employee that operated the rig and allowing workers into the crane's drop zone. Furthermore, regular inspections of the crane's rope were apparently skipped. If these inspections had been carried out, the accident may have been avoided.

As a result of these violations, Yonkers Contracting Company has been fined $78,000 by OSHA. A subcontractor was also fined $7,000 because of its role in the accident.

While workers' compensation may be available to the workers who are injured in construction accidents, nothing can bring back the loss of life. This man's family will forever be without him. Investigations like this can help to make companies comply with safety regulations so further accidents do not occur. However, this fine will not help this man's family recover financially from his death. If his family has suffered financial harm because of the death, they should consider filing a wrongful death suit.

Source: The New York Times, "Crane Operating Company Will Be Fined for Fatal Collapse," Matt Flegenheimer, Oct. 4, 2012

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