A 59-year-old construction foreman, was laying down metal tracks when a wall collapsed on him early this morning in the Rosebank section of Staten Island. He was found unconscious and pronounced dead at the scene by EMS officials. Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said that wind played a role in the wall collapse. Investigators are trying to determine whether Building Safety requirements were met.
Construction workers who were not associated with the Rosebank job but fled to the scene after hearing about the accident, said the wall appeared to be poorly built. "It was just a matter of time before that wall went down," said Terry Lane, who identified himself as a construction laborer with 29 years of experience. He said the wall didn't appear to be shored up the way it should have been. "If there was heavy wind, you would see it wobble. Safety is a very important thing when it comes to construction. I think it's a shame that anybody should be put in a position like this."
There are saftery regulations that require proper shoreing of walls at construction sites. It seems that OSHA requirements were not met in this instance. Very likely OSHA will be investigating this incident and the parties responsible for the site could be subject to penalties.
The state of New York provides special protections to workers at construction sites. Codified under New York's Labor Law Section 240(1) and 241(6) allow construction workers who are hurt in job site accidents, to file a personal injury lawsuit against a contractor or owner, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work.