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Authorities stop work after tragic construction site death

New York City’s Department of Buildings issued a stop work order after a fatal accident on a construction site in Brooklyn.

According to news reports, the accident claimed the life of a 46-year-old man. It involved an excavator which workers were using to haul heavy pipes from one part of the job site to another.

As a worker strapped a load on the excavator, an attachment to the machine failed under the weight and fell, striking and killing the victim. The piece of equipment that fell weighed around 1 ton.

Authorities and the owner of the project development indicated that they are investigating this construction accident. The death marks the fifth construction fatality in the New York City area for 2022, according the Department of Buildings.

The building project was scheduled for completion in 2026. The building will be for mixed use and will include apartments or condominiums.

The ongoing investigation may document who is responsible for this tragedy

After any fatal construction accident, an investigation will hopefully resolve several questions. For one, it should shed some light on who is ultimately responsible for the accident. While hopefully the victim’s family will be able to get workers’ compensation survivor benefits from the victim’s employer, these benefits do not pay for all losses.

New York’s laws likely will limit the ability of the family to sue their loved one’s employer, but there may be other organizations which are responsible.

For example, subcontractors work closely together at job sites, and the general contractor or developer may also have some responsibility. The owner of the equipment involved could be liable to pay compensation as well.

On a related note, it will be important for the investigation to discover why the excavator tragically failed. Those responsible for the equipment’s failure may also be liable to pay compensation.

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