Michael Jakob, 51, of Bohemia Killed, Gino Fiermont Injured In Long Island MacArthur Airport Electrocution Accident In Ronkonkoma
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK (September 9, 2021) – A worker identified as Michael Jakob of Bohemia has tragically died following a workplace electrocution accident at the Islip MacArthur Airport.
Suffolk County police officials are saying that the accident took place around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Michael Jakob was working on runway lights when he was electrocuted.
A second worker identified as Gino Fiermont attempted to help the victim and was also electrocuted. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the electrocution in order to help both Long Island MacArthur Airport workers.
Michael Jakob was taken to the Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead. Gino Fiermont was also taken to the Stony Brook University Hospital in order to receive treatment for non life-threatening injuries.
Town of Islip officials are currently investigating what may have caused the electrocution accident.
Liability In Electrocution Accidents At The Islip MacArthur Airport
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that nearly 8.6% of workplace fatalities involve electrocutions. This amounts to nearly 400 workplace fatalities per year. In fact, OSHA has dubbed electrocutions one of the “fatal four” causes of workplace injury and death. Most deaths occur in the summer months which is the prime time for most construction activities. Victims tend to be male and between the ages of 20 – 34. Work sites often have numerous potential electrical hazards including:
- Exposed wiring
- Exposed outlets
- Overhead power lines
- Energized conductors
- Power tools
- Lightning strikes
Construction companies and employers must do their best to protect workers from electrical hazards. OSHA 1910.333(c)(2) requires that only qualified persons may work on electrical parts or equipment that has not been de-energized. These persons must be familiar with work on energized circuits and the precautionary techniques and tools necessary to prevent accidents. Otherwise, workers should wait until electrical circuits have been properly de-energized before performing their work. There are a number of steps that can be taken to protect against electrocution hazards including:
- Always adhering to the proper lockout/tagout procedures
- Never leading exposed wires or circuit panels unattended
- Utilities should be located before work begins
- A safe distance between power lines should be maintained
- Ground-fault circuit-interrupters (GFCI) should be used for protection during maintenance and construction work
When a company fails to maintain their workplace in a reasonably safe condition and this leads to an electrocution they could be held liable. New York Labor Law 241(6) requires that general contractors and owners that employ workers for construction, excavation or demolition “provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” For example, labor laws and New York regulations could be violated if a business allowed a worker to inadvertently work near live electrical current. Victims of workplace electrocutions tend to suffer very serious injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Neurological damage
- Burn injuries
- Heart attacks
Liability for a workplace electrocution could potentially extend to a power company if they failed to de-energize a worksite after they were given instructions to do so. Any worker that is injured in an electrocution or their family may be able to seek justice through a civil claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral costs and pain and suffering. It is crucial that there is a thorough investigation after any accident. An electrocution accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what caused an accident.
Investigating An Electrocution Accident At The Long Island MacArthur Airport
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Michael Jakob. It is our sincere hope that Gino Fiermont will make a full recovery. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to OSHA investigators.
There are many questions that need to be answered. Were these workers given adequate protective equipment? Were the circuit conductors properly de-energized? Could this tragedy have been prevented? It is our sincere hope that there is a thorough investigation into what went wrong. Only then can steps be taken to correct the problem and prevent additional tragedies like this from happening again. Workplace safety should always be the top priority for any employer in New York.