The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, and most construction workers understand that the threat of accidents is always present. This danger may not be as apparent to pedestrians walking near a construction site on their way to their destinations.
On St. Patrick’s Day, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a piece of plywood that flew off a construction site in the West Village. Gusts of wind had knocked it loose. Top winds in the area at the time of the accident were reaching 38 miles per hour, reported the New York Daily News (3.18.15), citing the National Weather Service.
The woman, 37, was walking on the sidewalk and talking on her phone when the flying 4-foot-by-8-foot sheet of plywood hit her. The woman was slammed into a wall at a parking garage. She struck her head and died, said the New York Daily News.
The accident occurred near the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital which is now being converted into luxury condos. The plywood had come off a construction site security fence.
The New York Daily News called the tragedy a “freak” accident
A freak accident implies that something was close to impossible to predict. However, this accident could easily have been avoided. Someone is always responsible for construction site safety. A number of people, including the property owner, general contractors and sub-contractors, have a responsibility to make sure pedestrians are safe.
It’s worth noting that, according to the NYDN, the W. 12th St. building was the subject of a number of complaints during construction in 2013. There was a complaint about safety netting falling off the building, as well as a complaint about unsafe scaffolding. The NYC Department of Buildings found that a scaffold was improperly connected to the building at the 17th floor. These problems were fixed before anyone got hurt.
Individuals who have been injured on or near a construction project due to an accident may be entitled to compensation. An experienced lawyer can help a victim obtain the full amount he or she deserves. In the case of a death of a loved one, due to the negligence of another, compensation may also be recovered.