The New York City Department of Buildings released a statement saying that investigations have begun in the two cases of construction workers falling to their deaths hours apart in Manhattan on Thursday. While the names have not been officially released, the two men both fell while on their respective job sites, and one of the sites actually reported a death earlier this year, raising questions about the safety of the site and the operation that is underway.
The first accident involved a construction worker who, according to authorities, was a seasoned construction veteran. He died after falling 29-stories while working on a luxury condo development on the waterfront in the financial district. He was reportedly wearing a harness, but the harness was not properly clipped in and he fell, landing on a scaffolding-bridge above the sidewalk. The construction worker was pronounced dead at the scene. He was reportedly installing molds to pour concrete up on the 29th floor when he lost his balance and fell. The accident occurred in the morning according to authorities and people on the scene.
Later in the afternoon, two workers fell out of a bucket lift from the third floor while working at 400 West 33rd street on 9th Avenue. The men were also wearing safety harnesses, but it is believed that they were not secured, and one of the workers died as a result of the fall. Another worker died at this very site earlier this year, raising questions about the security procedures on this job site.
While construction can be a risky profession, it is important for employers to institute and enforce strict safety procedures to keep their workers safe from harm. Workers should not be put at risk, and safety equipment like harnesses should be worn and secured at all times. While the details of these two cases are still being investigated, it sounds as though proper safety procedures were not followed to a “T” and these tragic accidents could have been avoided if supervisors had ensured that the rules and regulations had been followed.
It is not clear whether either of the families has retained an attorney, but they may be eligible to file a claim against the construction company for the loss of their loved one. No one wants to think about the devastation that a workplace accident can cause on the life of the worker and the worker’s family, but the truth is that someone should be held responsible for their deaths, especially since the accidents could have been avoided.
In a wrongful death claim, the family and dependents of the worker who died may be able to recover financial compensation for funeral costs, loss of future earnings, and emotional suffering. By contacting an attorney who understands construction accidents (and preferably one who understands accidents in Manhattan in particular, like this law firm we found), the family may be able to recover a measure of help and financial support during this difficult time. While it won’t replace the loved one they lost, these construction companies may be held liable for their actions and may implement stronger safety measures in the future.