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Witness: No precautions taken before fatal workplace accident

New York construction workers frequently put their lives on the line when they have to work in dangerous circumstances. They often work without the necessary personal protective equipment. Both the New York City Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have opened investigations into a deadly workplace accident that claimed the life of a 60-year-old man.

According to a police report, the incident occurred shortly before noon at a two-story home in Queens on a recent Thursday. A retired construction worker who happens to live across the street from where the man was working says he watched the worker yanking on anchors that were installed on the roof, to which they were going to secure solar panels. He was testing them for strength when something happened to propel him off the roof.

The witness says that although there were various types of safety precautions that could have been taken to prevent this man's death, none of them seemed to have been made. He says the worker was not equipped with a fall harness, and there was no safe anchor point on the roof. Reportedly, paramedics rushed the roof worker to a hospital, but he did not survive his injuries.

Regardless of the findings of the investigators, the family of a deceased victim of a workplace accident may pursue financial relief to help with the unanticipated economic consequences of such a tragedy. The New York workers' compensation insurance program offers death benefits to surviving family members. The expenses related to end-of-life arrangements are typically covered along with a financial package to make up for lost wages.

Source: New York Daily News, "Worker dead after falling from roof of two-story Queens house", Rocco Parascandola, Ellen Moynihan, John Annese, Oct. 19, 2017

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