Vincent Lucchese of Tottenville Died In S. Di Fazio & Sons Recycling Plant Electrocution Accident In Staten Island While Operating Machinery
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (August 28, 2021) – A worker identified as Vincent Lucchese has tragically died after being electrocuted by machinery at a construction site run by S. Di Fazio & Sons.
New York City police officials are saying that the accident took place around 1:40 p.m. by Bloomfield Avenue. Vincent Lucchese was operating a piece of machinery when he was electrocuted at the Staten Island construction site. The piece of machinery has been identified as a steel-framed rock crushing machine.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the electrocution at the recycling yard in order to help the victim. Sadly, Vincent Lucchese could not be saved and died due to the severity of his injuries.
The Department of Buildings has put in a formal request for inspection of the recycling plant following the worker’s death. Officials issued a citation for failure to maintain electric equipment. New York City’s medical examiner is working to determine an official cause of death.
Liability In Staten Island Recycling Plant Electrocution Accidents
Electrocutions remain one of the leading causes of workplace injury and death in the United States. In fact, OSHA has labeled electrocutions one of the “fatal four” causes of workplace injury and death. The three other sources of major workplace injury and death are falls, struck by objects and caught in-between accidents. Around 8.6% of workplace deaths in the United States were attributable to electrocutions. Workers face a number of potential sources of electrical hazards including:
- Exposed wiring
- Wet conditions while outlets are exposed
- Contact with overhead powerlines
- Contact with energized conductors
- Poorly maintained extension cords
- Lightning strikes
In many circumstances electrocution accidents are totally preventable. They tend to happen when construction companies or general contractors fail to provide a safe place to work. New York Labor Law 241(6) requires all contractors and owners to “provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” When a general contractor or owner fails to follow New York Labor Law 241(6) they could be held strictly liable in the event of an accident. Plaintiff’s attorneys arguing such a case may seek to file a Motion for Summary Judgement on the issue of liability. There are a number of steps that should be taken to protect workers from electrocution:
- Employers should use the proper insulating materials for the voltage in use. They must also protect that insulation from environmental factors such as oil.
- Guarding should be used to protect / warn workers about electrical hazards. Different types of guarding may involve fences, galleries, vaults and posting warning signs to electrical rooms.
- Grounding should be used to help protect workers from serious accidents. Grounding creates low-resistance paths that connects electrical components back to the earth.
- Circuit protection devices automatically shut off the flow of electricity after a short circuit. An example of this could be a circuit breaker.
- Electrical tools should also be properly maintained. The workers who use those tools should receive adequate protective gear.
Depending on the specific facts of any case liability for a workplace electrocution could extend to the manufacturer of a tool that a worker used when they were electrocuted. Companies have a legal responsibility to create products that are reasonably safe. When they fail to do this they could be held responsible through a product liability claim. For example, if a power tool lacked the proper insulation to prevent electrical injuries this could potentially form the basis for a civil claim. Victims of electrocution accidents tend to suffer very serious and costly injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Heart attacks
- Burn injuries
- Cellular damage
When a New York worker dies on the job in an electrocution accident their family may be able to seek justice through a civil claim. (N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 (2021) According to the statute, claims must result from a “wrongful act, neglect or default.” They must also “be commenced within two years after the decedent’s death.” Damages that can be recovered under the statute may include lost wages, medical bills and funeral and burial expenses. It’s a good idea to seek the experienced guidance of a personal injury attorney after a workplace accident. An attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and get you the answers that you deserve about what happened.
Investigating A Staten Island Construction Site Electrocution Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Vincent Lucchese. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to OSHA. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of all who have lost so much. It is our sincere hope that measures will be taken to prevent similar tragedies. No family should ever have to suffer through something like this.
There are many questions that need to be answered. Was the victim given the proper safety gear and training that they needed? Could this accident have been prevented? Worker safety should always be the number one priority for any company. Electrocutions can be prevented and lives can be saved when safety regulations and laws are observed and enforced.