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Bridge builder's violations put employee safety at risk

A company that built a bridge has been found responsible for multiple violations that put the safety and lives of workers on the site at risk. The construction accident caused a portion of the bridge consisting of a concrete section that was prefabricated to fall, striking some railroad tracks below, as well as inflicting minor injuries to four workers on duty at the time. Construction sites in New York and elsewhere are dangerous places, and it is just lucky that the injuries were not worse.

State regulators imposed $28,000 in fines, representing a $7,000 sanction for each of four cited violations. The builder was accused of having neglected to request consent from a manufacturer before modifying a girder. It was that exact girder that fell, resulting in 90 tons of concrete plummeting to the ground with a heavy thud.

This caused the bridge to be delayed in completion for approximately 90 days. The bridge was constructed to replace a prior aging one at the same location.

While fines for negligent builders who don't follow required procedures are a good idea, unfortunately the money involved may not be a significant enough sanction to deter serious hazards and dangerous practices on some construction sites. As a result, employees working there may continue to be in considerable danger.

Workers who are injured in construction site accidents can pursue claims for workers' compensation benefits and may also be able to sue third parties, such as equipment manufacturers for negligence which played a role in the accident. Financial compensation can help victims deal with financial consequences of getting injured such as medical bills and lost wages.

Source: PilotOnline.com, "Jordan Bridge builder fined for girder accident," Dave Forster, Dec. 19, 2012

  • Our firm works with victims who have been injured in accidents similar to the one described in this post. For more information, please visit our New York construction accident page.

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