The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating two Queens-based construction companies after a roof collapse injured three workers in Astoria on Tuesday June 20th, 2017. The Department of Buildings also issued a stop work order and contractor Ideal Builders And Construction received two violations for a failure to safeguard the work site. Other violations may be issued, pending investigation.
Officials say that the collapse was caused after a crane dropped heavy construction materials onto the roof and the materials fell through into the basement. The workers were trapped in the basement under a pile of debris, including heavy equipment, cinder blocks, and other construction materials.
One of the workers escaped on his own and suffered serious injuries. FDNY fire crews worked to rescue the other two victims, both of whom suffered critical injuries in the accident.
NYC Construction Safety Violations: A Worrying Trend
Construction injuries and fatalities are on the rise in New York City, and inadequate safety standards are often to blame. While OSHA is still investigating this accident, both of these businesses have already been investigated for safety violations within the past two years. It’s all too common for construction company owners to disregard worker safety in favor of maximizing profits.
While employers are usually protected from work injury lawsuits, there are certain exceptions in cases of extreme negligence. If a company has been cited for an OSHA violation, fails to address it, and a worker gets seriously injured as a result, they could potentially be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
How Can Negligent Construction Companies Be Held Accountable?
Even when safety rules are followed to the letter, construction is a dangerous industry. When these rules are ignored, it’s only a matter of time before a worker suffers a serious or even fatal injury.
There is no justification for construction companies and project managers to disregard the safety of their workers. These brave laborers help our city continue to grow every day. They deserve to be treated like their lives and labor have value.
Taking legal action in a personal injury lawsuit can help hold these negligent parties responsible for their cold-hearted indifference to worker safety. A settlement or verdict not only provides victims with the financial assistance they need after a serious injury, it helps call further attention to this growing epidemic. As more people speak out and file lawsuits, construction companies will be more likely to take safety measures more seriously.