A maintenance worker died on the job at the Coney Island Houses in Brooklyn, New York. Toni Jackson, 31, was fatally injured while performing maintenance duties, reported Newsday (3.8.15), citing a New York City Housing Authority spokesperson.
She was found unconscious with head trauma next to the trash compactor in the basement, reported the New York Daily News (3.9.15).
According to Newsday, Jakwon Rivers, a shop steward with Jackson’s union, Teamsters Local 237, said Jackson was killed by a faulty hoist that fell on her. He also called for an investigation into safety practices at the NYC housing complex.
Hoists lift and lower loads to an exact location. Although common and fairly simple, they can cause serious injuries to workers. Hoists carry heavy loads and any defect in the chain, pulley, or operation of the hoist can result in severe consequences.
Employees have a right to a safe workplace. Employers are expected to inspect hoists on a regular basis to ensure they are in good, working condition. They should inspect hook latches, ropes or chains, brakes and limit switches and ensure that all parts are not worn or damaged. Employers should also post the safe load limit on the hoist.
There are also a number of “Do’s and Do Not’s” for safe operation of hoists. Sometimes accidents are the fault of the injured employee. Other times employees are placed in danger due to the negligence of an employer, equipment failure, or the inexperience or wrongdoing of another worker. The exact cause of the hoist accident in Brooklyn was still under investigation.
Regardless of fault, under New York State workers’ compensation law, the family or dependents of a worker killed on the job may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits for any on-the-job death. Death benefits are the payments to the family or dependents of a worker who dies due to a job-related injury. The primary beneficiaries of the survivors’ benefit are the surviving spouse and-or minor children. If no primary beneficiaries exist, benefits may be paid to other dependents as defined by New York law.
A workers’ compensation lawyer is not needed to file a workers’ comp claim, however, it may be helpful to contact one. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the workers’ compensation system, keep track of deadlines, handle disputes, provide representation, recommend resources, and act as an advocate, if a worker’s family or dependents ever feel that they are being treated unfairly by the system.
Newsday reported that Jackson was the mother of two children.