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Roof collapse results in serious work injuries

Construction seems to be a perennial event in New York. Whether it is a new building being raised or an old one receiving much-needed upgrades, the men and women on the front lines of construction know they risk work injuries every day. Part of what makes construction dangerous is the element of the unknown. From changing weather conditions to the failure of a safety device, at any moment, a routine day can turn into disaster.

Recently, at the site of a renovation project in Queens, a crane deposited a load of construction materials onto the roof of a two-story brownstone. Construction workers from two different companies were working on various floors of the project. Apparently, the weight of the materials, estimated at a few thousand pounds, was too great for the roof to sustain. The roof collapsed, dropping the tons of materials from floor to floor and trapping workers in the basement.

Witnesses say the sound was like an explosion that just kept going as the materials broke through beams and crashed through ceilings. For over an hour, rescue crews worked to free those trapped under the tons of rubble. It was a delicate operation, but three workers were finally pulled from the wreckage. One man had crushing injuries from a 1,200 pound beam that landed on his legs, and others were similarly injured.

Recovery from an accident such as this is likely to be slow and painful. There is also the possibility that such work injuries could mean permanent disability. Employees in New York who are facing a long recovery should not have to worry about how they will pay their bills. Fortunately, they can consult a workers' compensation attorney who will represent their cause to the insurance companies and their employers.

Source: NBC New York, "3 Construction Workers Injured After Renovation Materials Drop Through Roof of Astoria Building", Michael George, June 20, 2017

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