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Fatal Excavator Accident on Brooklyn Construction Site

Sadly, a construction worker in Brooklyn was killed in an accident on Monday morning when a 2,000-pound piece of an excavator fell on him. New York Post reported that the 46-year-old worker had been standing on the worksite at 1 Java Street in Greenport when the arm of the machine detached while in use.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) preliminary investigations found that a mechanical failure caused the accident. Officials reported the excavator was being used to construct a 14-story building, transporting pipes and other materials. While one of the workers was strapping pipes to the arm of the excavator, the machine reportedly failed, allowing a section of the arm to break and fall on top of the victim. 

The DOB reported that this is the fifth construction-related accident in NYC since the start of the year.

Statistics on Excavator Accidents 

Excavators are standard on most construction sites and are massive in size. Accidents that result from these machines can be catastrophic, resulting in permanent disability and death. 

Between 2015 to 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported 98 excavator-related accidents, more than 45% of which were fatal. The most common excavator accidents include: 

  • Struck By (48%)
  • Caught In/Between (27%)
  • Other (25%)

The ‘other’ category includes several accidents: rollovers, electrocutions, falling debris, falls, runovers, and ejections.

Excavator Accidents and the Fatal Four 

It’s important to note that both main accident types (struck by and caught in/between) and several of the accidents listed as ‘other’ are also part of OSHA’s Fatal Four. The Fatal Four in the construction industry takes hundreds of workers’ lives every year. Risk factors that cause these accidents are generally also on the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards. These include: 

  1. Fall Protection 
  2. Respiratory Protection 
  3. Ladders
  4. Hazard Communication
  5. Scaffolding
  6. Fall Protection Training 
  7. Control of Hazardous Energy 
  8. Eye and Face Protection 
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks 
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding 

Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C. NYC Construction Accident Attorneys 

At the law firm of Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C., we have been fighting for New York City workers and victims of construction accidents for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury on a construction site, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation anytime through our online form or call 212-227-1212 for a free case evaluation.

Image courtesy of Peter Gerber, New York Post

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