In the current economic recession, the construction industry has been particularly hard hit in Pennsylvania and across the country. Many construction workers are out of work, so whenever someone is able to land a construction job, it’s usually considered a good thing. One man, who immigrated to the United States in 1997 looking for opportunity, was working in the construction business until a recent building collapse claimed his life. The fatal construction accident also caused two others to sustain severe injuries.
The man and his co-workers were demolishing an old warehouse building as part of a college’s campus expansion. As the crew was working, the building collapsed without warning. Suddenly the walls collapse, trapping three workers. Emergency crews arrived quickly and were able to extricate all of those trapped so they could be rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention. Unfortunately, one of the men died while he was being treated.
Sometimes genuine construction-related accidents do happen. Other times, construction companies fail to provide their workers with the necessary precautions to protect their safety. In this particular case, the construction company hired to complete the project has a history of unsafe working conditions. In fact, the same company was responsible for a construction project that claimed the life of another worker only two years ago. At the time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the company for various safety violations. Although OSHA is still investigating the circumstances of the most recent accident, this company has a history of failing to provide adequate safety measures for their employees.
As a result of suffering injuries in the line of work, the two injured employees should be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Furthermore, the family of the man who died may be able to collect survivor’s benefits as it relates to their heartbreaking loss. These payments will help them make the understandably difficult adjustments to life without their loved one, but they only want the man back in their lives.
When reacting to the accident, the wife of the man who passed away commented, “He was a very happy person. He loved to work.”
Source: The New York Times, “Construction Worker Killed in Building Collapse in Manhattan,” Al Baker, March 22, 2012