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Disregard of safety regulations may lead to workplace accidents

Construction workers in New York are likely aware of the dangers they are exposed to on a daily basis. While company owners are expected to maintain safety standards as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is not uncommon for employers to disregard regulations. This failure often leads to workplace accidents with severe injuries or even fatalities.

The family of a Staten Island construction worker has to adjust to life without him after a construction accident that occurred on a recent Friday morning claimed his life. It was reported that a four-man contractor's crew was demolishing unused premises on the property of a car dealer when the mezzanine collapsed. Three of the workers managed to avoid the falling debris, but one man was buried under the rubble. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

The report states that the contracting company failed to obtain the necessary permits to execute the demolition; however, the Department of Building has named the owner of the car dealership as the person responsible for compliance with building regulations. An OSHA investigation is underway and is expected to last for a considerable time. It was mentioned that the property owner has no history of OSHA violations, while the contracting company has a substantial record, including the death of a worker in a trench collapse in 2003.

The family of the worker who lost his life in this tragic accident may be entitled to claim death benefits from the workers' compensation insurance fund. Surviving family members of workers who lost their lives in workplace accidents usually receive compensation to cover end-of-life expenses, along with a financial package based on the average wages earned by the deceased. A New York legal professional may advise the family members whether they have a viable third-party claim against the property owner in this case. Compensation received for a third-party claim will be in addition to that received from workers' compensation.

Source: silive.com, "OSHA opens investigation into fatal Dana Ford Lincoln ceiling collapse", Zak Koeske, Dec. 1, 2014

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