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Construction worker killed in New York elevator shaft accident

There are plenty of jobs that come with health and safety risks. Freak accidents can occur in almost any profession and can cause unexpected damages to workers and unfortunate bystanders, but construction workers can face particularly dangerous circumstances. Construction workers are employed to perform tasks with dangerous, powerful tools in areas that are sometimes, by their very nature, fairly unsafe. While most construction workers understand the risks associated with their profession, that is no reason to excuse employers and property owners when they take negligent actions that cause a construction site to become unreasonably unsafe.

Construction zones can be littered with dangerous property conditions, not the least dangerous of which can come from the heights of New York skyscrapers. Construction workers know that they should be careful when working from great heights, but some things simply cannot be prepared for.

A construction site in Queens recently saw a fatal accident occur when a contractor fell five stories down the shaft of an elevator.

One witness claimed that there were many safety measures in place, both in the form of training and site safety men, but he claimed that “things do happen.” But fatal accidents should not be dismissed as “just happening,” and a loss of a human life at a construction site should not ever be disregarded without thorough investigation into its cause and future prevention. Working five stories above the ground in an unfinished elevator shaft certainly has its inherent dangers, but there are always more safety measures that could be taken to protect a life. In this incident the victim’s safety harness had little benefit, as it had not been attached to a lifeline.

It is a property owner’s responsibility to ensure that people are warned of any dangers associated with their property and that adequate safety measures are taken to minimize these dangers. People who are injured in a situation where a property owner was negligent regarding such things may be entitled to compensation and may benefit from the counsel of a New York premises liability attorney.

Source: CBS New York, “Worker Dies After 5-Story Plunge Down Elevator Shaft in Queens,” June 5, 2014

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