Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, and demolition work is even more dangerous that the average construction project. Some demolition projects involve teams using carefully placed explosives, so a large building implodes and neatly collapses on itself, but the vast majority of demolition work involves people with power saws and sledgehammers taking a building down piece by piece.
According to a recent news article form ABC 7 News, a demolition worker was just killed when a building in which he working in midtown Manhattan collapsed around him.
Authorities have said one worker was killed and another was injured when the building internally collapsed while they were inside. Specifically, a large portion of the ceiling broke lose from its support on the rear side of the building and started falling from the top of the eight story structure. As it fell, it crashed through floor after floor, crushing one worker who died on the scene and injuring the other. The worker who was killed is believed to have died as soon as the debris landed on him and did not suffer.
However, the worker who was injured was trapped under fallen debris for as long as three hours before rescue workers were able to free him from the rubble and get him much needed medical attention. The project mangers reported that there were 19 workers inside the building at the time of the deadly collapse, but everyone was accounted for and there was no one still trapped inside. However, just as a matter of precaution, the police used dogs to check the rubble to make sure there was nobody still trapped beneath the mountains of concrete. This was technically what is known as “gut demolition” in which everything but the exterior walls are removed, so that the entire inside can be rebuilt form the ground up. This usually involves the placement of temporary support beams until permanent loadbearing walls can be erected during the construction phase of the project.
Due to the way buildings in New York as essentially attached to each other and provide lateral support to buildings on either side, the demolition process is often a slow and painstaking process in which the building must be demolished one piece at a time in a predetermined order, so as not to cause any damage to the adjacent buildings. In some cases, workers will even have to put up new support structures on the outsides of the remaining buildings to prevent a collapse. The particular building has been under demolition for around three years prior to this recent collapse in which one worker was killed another was injured on the job.
Under the law in South Carolina, workers’ compensation benefits are the appropriate remedy in the case of a worker who is injured on the job, as well as a worker who is killed on the job. While most people associate workers’ compensation with injured workers, our Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorneys regularly work with families of workers who have been killed on the job. However, in these cases, the award is often called a workers’ compensation death benefits award.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
WORKER KILLED IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN BUILDING COLLAPSE IDENTIFIED, November 1, 2015, ABC 7 News, by Mallo Hoff
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