Construction sites often require the use of heavy machinery. When the machinery is in proper working order, it can provide workers with the ability to complete massive tasks with relative ease. When the machine is not properly maintained these massive tools can be the cause of catastrophic accidents.
One such accident recently occurred in New York at a worksite in Downtown Brooklyn. A worker suffered from fatal injuries while using a pile drilling machine that malfunctioned.
What happened at the worksite? A recent piece in the New York Post covered the accident, noting a portion of the machinery snapped and struck the worker in the head.
A security guard at the site told the Post that "the machinery malfunctioned" and "something detached from the machine." The worker was knocked unconscious and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Aren't regulations in place to avoid these accidents? Yes, there are regulations that are designed to help reduce the risk of these types of accidents. Unfortunately, these regulations are not always followed.
The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that regulates many of these activities. Regulations that generally apply to heavy machinery include:
- Inspections. OSHA requires that all equipment should be inspected prior to operation at the beginning of every shift.
- Vehicle components. Vehicles must have intact windshields with working windshield wipers as well as working brakes, headlights, and horns.
- Training. Anyone operating this equipment must be properly trained.
It is not yet known if the site involved in the above accident was in violation of any of these regulations.
What can other workers learn from this tragic accident?
Workers and their loved ones can learn two key lessons from this accident.
First, it is important that work sites follow regulations. These regulations are in place to keep workers safe.
Second, accidents at worksites can be fatal. If the accident is the result of a failure to follow these regulations results in an injury or death, compensation is likely available. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.