Last week, a 29-year-old worker was killed in a Staten Island construction accident. The worker was buried alive when the wall of a trench collapsed on top of him.
A Buildings Department spokeswoman told The New York Times that the worker, along with several others, was replacing pipe in a trench near a shopping mall on Victory Boulevard. The wall on the trench gave way, trapping him inside. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Staten Island University Hospital.
Although the exact cause of the construction accident is still under investigation, preliminary reports revealed that the trench was not properly braced, even though wooden bracings are legally required. As a result, the city intends to issue at least five violations to the company responsible for supervising the worksite.
How Much is a Worker’s Life Worth?
Construction accidents take place all too frequently in New York City. Construction work can be dangerous, and a certain number of accidents and injuries are bound to occur. However, there is no excuse for injuries and death that happen because employers choose to cut corners on safety.
Accidents like this one beg the question of how much a worker’s life is truly worth. Clearly, this worker’s life was much more valuable than the cost of some simple wooden braces.
Unfortunately, many New York City contractors don’t see this issue so clearly. Instead, they forgo safety measures in an effort to maximize profits and simply hope for the best.
When a construction accident happens, the responsible parties deserve to be held accountable. If you or a loved one has been affected by a New York construction accident, talk to an attorney who can help you understand your rights.