A recent crane accident in New York illustrates the inherent dangers construction workers face every day in the workplace. The fatal accident occurred when a 35-ton crane tipped onto its side in the Genesee River gorge, pinning the operator underneath.
The 69-year-old man spoke with rescue and medical workers for three and a half hours following the construction accident before succumbing to his injuries. Rescue workers were hopeful after they were able to free the man's upper body, but the shock of his injuries to his lower body was too much to overcome when the pressure of the crane was relieved - the man tragically died at the scene.
Rochester Fire Chief, John Caulfield, told the Democrat and Chronicle, ""To say that this has been traumatic for the rescuers is an incredible understatement. They went from having face-to-face conversations with him to watching him die in front of their eyes."
Unfortunately, constructions accidents in New York are all too common.
New York Remedies for Fatal Injuries in the Workplace
The first option available to the families of fatally injured workers can be found under New York's Workers' Compensation Laws. When most people think of workers' compensation they usually think of situations in which a worker is simply injured to the point where they can no longer work, however, workers' compensation also provides death benefits to the spouse and dependent minor children when a worker is fatally injured on the job.
Generally, these benefits can continue as weekly cash payments or negotiated as a lump sum - which are generally calculated as percentage of the deceased worker's average wages.
A second possible remedy available to the families of a worker who died as a result of an injury they sustained on the job is a third-party lawsuit - which is suit initiated against someone other than the worker's employer or co-workers for their negligent acts. These types of suits often involve property owners who maintain their property in an unsafe condition, or possibly subcontractors on the same worksite when they cause the accident.
Construction workers need to be vigilant while working on construction sites. Given the size of machinery today and the obvious inherent dangers, a fatal accident is always a possibility.