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New York construction worker dies in collapsing dirt accident

Let's shift gears this week and take a look at a scenario that Utica residents would likely expect to be among the more dangerous occupations. Construction work is somewhat infamous for stories of falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders -- visually arresting images that make headlines and garner widespread attention.

Workers and their families should be aware, however, that construction injuries need not involve falls from great heights to be serious, even deadly. Even working below ground carries dangerous risks. One such recent construction site accident from our state proved fatal to a worker.

The construction worker was down in a hole, working on a construction site in New York City's Meatpacking District. Shortly after noon, a call went out to police that the man had been buried alive when the surrounding dirt collapsed on top of him. Responders were able to free him and rush him to the hospital, but he later died.

The office of the city's medical examiner has yet to announce its determination as to the precise cause of death in this construction accident. Such a ruling may seem to be a moot point in a tragic case like this. However, it actually can prove to be of great consequence to family members of a construction worker injures or killed in an accident.

The reason is that there are often many different third parties on a typical construction site -- it's unlikely just the company employing the workers and the workers themselves. And with vendors, contractors and others involved, there may be multiple avenues for compensation. We'll take a look at some of these in a follow-up blog post.

Source: CBS New York, "Worker Killed At Construction Site Dirt Collapse In Meatpacking District," April 6, 2015

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