Contractor Killed After Falling From The Roof Of Garage Under Construction At Town of Oyster Bay Solid Waste Disposal Complex In Old Bethpage
NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK (August 24, 2021) – A construction worker has tragically died in a work accident after falling from the roof of a garage at the Solid Waste Disposal Complex in the Town of Oyster Bay.
Nassau County police officials are saying that the fall occured just before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. A construction worker fell through the roof of the garage that he was working on.
The garage was under construction at the time of the accident. Police and paramedics were called to the Solid Waste Disposal Complex at 101 Bethpage Sweet Hollow Road in Old Bethpage.
Nassau County police officials described the victim as a 56-year-old male who sustained severe injuries from the fall. Despite life-saving measures the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
OSHA is conducting an investigation into the garage fall.
Liability In Roof Fall Accidents In The Town of Oyster Bay
Falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injury and death in the construction industry. In fact, falls are one of four types of accidents dubbed the “Fatal Four” by OSHA. The other three main types of workplace hazards include electrocutions, being struck by objects and getting caught in-between hazards. In all, the “Fatal Four” types of hazards made up nearly 64% of all workplace deaths in 2016. There are a number of common causes of workplace falls including:
- Uneven surfaces
- Improper scaffolding use
- Improper ladder use
- A lack of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
- Poor communication between workers
Companies have a legal obligation to maintain their work sites as safe as possible for their employees and contractors. The fact of the matter is that most workplace falls are totally preventable. They can be avoided when the right safety measures are put in place. For starters, a “competent person” should oversee most New York construction projects. Workers should be given personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) when they are working six feet or more above lower levels. Workers should also be given proper safety training for the equipment that they must use on the job.
In New York, most employees and contractors are barred from bringing civil claims against their employers. But this typically is not the case with respect to accidents involving falls during construction projects. Most gravity related construction accidents that occur in New York are adjudicated under New York State Labor Law § 240/241. In short, building owners and general contractors are held strictly liable when a worker falls and is injured. There are a few questions that should be answered when determining liability for a fall.
- Was the construction project where the accident took place covered under New York State Labor Law § 240/241?
- Did the owner or contractor fail to provide scaffolding or other safety measures such as fall arrest systems required under New York State Labor Law § 240/241?
- Did an injury occur of the same type that New York State Labor Law § 240/241 was designed to prevent?
When the answer to the aforementioned questions are “yes,” the owner or general contractor may very well face liability. In fact, liability will typically be established even if the worker was not acting in a safe manner prior to the fall. The family members of the deceased worker can seek justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of love. A New York construction accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Garage Fall Accident At The Solid Waste Disposal Complex
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of the construction worker that died at the Town of Oyster Bay Solid Waste Disposal Complex. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to OSHA as they continue their investigation. As construction accident attorneys we remain deeply concerned by the rise in workplace injuries in New York.
There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of all who have lost so much. There are also a number of questions that need to be answered after this tragedy. Were workers provided the right safety equipment? Could this accident have been prevented? The vast majority of workplace falls can be completely avoided when the right safety measures are put in place and properly enforced. No worker or family should ever have to go through something like this.