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Immigrant construction workers face risks of serious accidents

Construction companies understand that they have a responsibility to provide their workers with proper safety equipment, training and support. Construction sites are dangerous places to work and without the appropriate safety precautions, the result of an accident can be devastating. While many companies comply with state and federal safety regulations, there are also many who choose to put profit over the safety of their workers.

One group that is especially vulnerable when it comes to being hurt in a construction accident is workers who are from outside the United States. These immigrant construction workers often do not speak very much English and employers take advantage of their situation by cutting corners with safety and training procedures. Because of this, many people have gotten hurt or killed while working in dangerous and substandard conditions. In fact, reports suggest that out of the 29 fatal construction accidents that happened in one year in New York City, 21 of them involved an immigrant worker.

Recently, a worker was killed while working on a large home renovation process. He was standing in a trench that was seven feet deep while power washing a porch. Because he was not given proper protective gear and the trench was unsafe, he was crushed and killed when the porch broke away from the foundation of the home and crashed into the trench. The subsequent lawsuit claims that the construction company for whom the victim worked was in violation of safety codes and OSHA standards.

It is tragic accidents like this one that highlight the dangers of negligence on a jobsite. Without the proper training and protection, workers can end up getting seriously injured on a construction site. It is the responsibility of construction companies to make sure they are in compliance with safety regulations and that their employees are protected. Those who do not take this responsibility seriously can face serious legal and financial consequences.

Source: Greenwich-Post, “Immigrant worker’s death prompts lawsuit,” Kait Shea, March 6, 2013

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