Now sitting on Ground Zero in New York is the World Trade Center. The transformation from a scene of horror to one of hope symbolizes New York’s resilience. However, the rebirth came with a cost. The rebirth was fraught with blood and injuries that went unreported, according to a Daily News investigation.
If the investigation’s findings are true, more than 30 serious job-site injuries went unreported to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of these construction injuries were nearly fatal, including spinal fractures, busted hips and broken limbs. For example, in one instance a 60-pound bundle of rebar smashed into a worker’s head. In another, a worker fell 20 feet after scaffolding collapsed. In yet another, a worker was hit by a steel plate. Each worker suffered severe injuries. Some may never work in construction again.
Officials challenge the findings of the Daily News Investigation. They claim job safety was vigorously enforced. They argue that only two people died and that each death was reported to OSHA. Those deaths were a 36-year-old man crushed by an aerial lift and a 28-year-old man who fell more than 20 stories because a floor-hole cover was not secured over the drop.
These deaths highlight that even if safety was vigorously enforced, the speed with which the towers went up carried its own risks. Construction moved quickly, shortcuts happened and, because of it, workers lost their lives.
Like the construction workers who were hurt or killed while constructing the new World Trade Center, New York construction workers hurt at work have legal options. To learn more about them, workers may benefit from speaking with an attorney.
Source: The New York Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of injuries at World Trade Center construction site went unreported,” Greg B. Smith, Nov. 3, 2014