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Two Construction Workers Killed in Queens

Construction is still the deadliest occupation in New York City. It doesn't seem like a week passes without news of workers either getting killed or seriously injured. The most recent devastating example of this took place Tuesday, Nov. 22 around noon when a 6,500 pound metal beam slipped out of a crane's rigging and fell four stories to hit crane operator George Smith (age 47) and flagman Alessandro Ramos (age 43).

According to officials at the city's Buildings Department, the initial reason for the accident was a failure in the rigging, although the investigation is ongoing. The work site had no history of safety violations and the crane in the accident had passed inspection in June.

High winds

Another explanation for the accident could be a result of high winds, which weather service officials say were gusting in excess of 30 mph. Mayor Bill DiBlasio had temporarily instated a restriction on cranes operating in high winds back in February, prohibiting work when sustained winds were over 20 mph and gusts of 30 mph. But advocates from the construction industry said the work stoppages hurt business and didn't make it any safer for workers. The guidelines were returned to the previous limit of 30 mph.

Accidents are all too common

Regardless of the wind or the safety laws, falling objects is one of the most common reasons for injury and death at a construction site. Other reasons include falling from a structure or building as well as getting crushed or backed over by trucks or other heavy machinery.

Every year hundreds of workers die on the job while just trying to provide for their family. These two men and many others like them here in tri-state region were not able to spend last Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Seek help

If a loved one has died in a fatal work injury, the grieving process will be long and difficult. There will likely be a settlement offer from the insurance company, but it is still a good idea to consult with a lawyer who has experience in wrongful death and personal injury before agreeing to anything. An attorney can help provide peace of mind by making sure that the settlement is fair in regards to all aspects of the accident. While compensation will never replace lost loved ones, it can help sustain a family and allow them to move forward in the years to come.

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