The employment related death of a construction worker sparked a six month investigation of the company for which he worked. The worker was killed last November, after being crushed and asphyxiated by a mezzanine that fell from a car dealership the crew was demolishing.

The investigation found numerous violations both prior to and during the demolition, including:

• Failure to initiate programs to inspect the worksite, materials, and equipment
• Failure to properly inspect the demolition site
• Failure to conduct an engineering survey prior to the demolition
• Failure to obtain a valid permit to demolish the building
• Failure to properly train employees
• Failure to inspect support walls and floors for the potential to collapse
• Failure to keep a record of workplace injuries and illnesses

This was not the first death that resulted from the construction company’s negligence. The owner had pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide several years ago when he had admitted he knew the trench he had sent a worker into was not safe. Similar to the recent occurrence, the worker was also asphyxiated when the trench caved in on him.

OSHA has released statements regarding the company’s disregard for safety protocol. The Staten Island OSHA director stated that the worker would not have been killed had proper demolition procedures been taken. However, OSHA is waiting for the findings of the DA’s office to release further commentary regarding the possibility of criminal prosecution for the construction company’s owner. OSHA has fined the company $121,000 for “willfull,” “serious,” and one “other than serious” violations.

If you have been seriously injured at the workplace, contact an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about Worker’s Compensation claims to discuss your legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.

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