Construction DeathsWe now know more about the death of a 22-year-old laborer from Queens killed while working at a Restoration Hardware store construction site on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan on April 6, 2015.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the general contractor and the victim’s employer failed to provide cave-in protection, which could have prevented the fatal trench collapse. Harco Construction LLC and subcontractor Sky Materials Corporation didn’t install cave-in protection, or brace a section of undermined sidewalk to prevent it from collapsing.

Officials with OSHA say the managers associated with the construction site were aware of the dangerous conditions and failed to remove their employees from the trench. After the construction site accident, OSHA issued each employer two citations for willful violations of safety standards. Officials from both companies have also been indicted for manslaughter in the New York State Supreme Court.

Many trench collapses are preventable. Engineering controls, protective equipment, and safe work practices can prevent trench cave-ins and lessen hazards for workers. But, many contractors fail to follow OSHA safety standards. Between the years 2000 and 2009, 350 workers were killed in trenching or excavation cave-ins. That’s an average of 35 deaths a year. The leading cause of trench-related deaths was the lack of a protective system.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a construction site accident, you need to explore your legal options. There are death benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance for families who have lost a loved one on the job. In cases involving negligence and wrongdoing, families can also pursue support by filing a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.

No amount of money can compensate you for your tragic loss, but you may be able to pursue support to help your family recover financially.

A New York workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and help you get the support you need.

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP can help. Contact us at (212) 986-7353.