Death on Verrzano-Narrows Bridge prompts OSHA investigation

Construction worker was killed after truck backed up and ran over him

The death of a construction worker on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has prompted an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to the Staten Island Advance. The man was run over by a truck that was also working at the construction site and later died in hospital. OSHA has yet to say whether the construction site suffered from any safety violations.

Truck backed up

The man was working for a contractor on the bridge when a truck, which was laying asphalt on a ramp, began to back up. The man moved to get out of the truck's way, but the driver apparently did not see the worker and made a sudden turn. Officials say that the man was run over by all four wheels of the vehicle.

Initially, as the New York Daily News reported, the man was taken to hospital in critical condition but was expected to survive. Unfortunately, he soon succumbed to his injuries. Construction on the bridge has been suspended until an investigation is completed.

OSHA investigates

Because of the fatal accident, OSHA has launched an investigation into the site to determine whether safety regulations were violated. Although the launching of the investigation alone does not necessarily indicate that safety rules were violated, if such violations are found to have occurred then OSHA could issue citations against the contractor.

Furthermore, the New York State Labor Law affords special protections to certain workers who are injured or killed on construction sites where there are violations of certain safety standards. In addition to workers' compensation, if an accident was caused by violation of those safety standards, such a worker or their loved ones, may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the owner of the property or contractors at the jobsite. Also, if an accident is the result of the negligence of someone other than the worker's employer or co-worker, they may be able to bring a lawsuit as well and not be merely limited to worker's compensation.

Construction site accidents

Construction sites have the potential to pose a number of risks for both workers and other people nearby. Because of the presence of dangerous equipment and other hazards, it is vital for owners, contractors and employers to make sure they maintain a safe working environment at all times. Unfortunately, far too often a lax approach to safety at a construction site leads to serious injuries and, in the worst cases, even death.

Anybody who has been injured or has a loved one who was killed on a construction site should contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If such accidents were caused by violations of certain safety standards or negligence of someone who was not their employer or co-worker, then victims may be able to pursue compensation above what is offered by workers' compensation. An experienced attorney will discuss how a particular case fits into current New York workers' compensation and personal injury laws and what action can be taken following an accident.