High levels of silica, a deadly carcinogen linked to an incurable lung cancer, were discovered recently at a New York City subway construction site during a recent safety inspection. While this is not a construction site accident in the typical sense, these types of incidents could cause significant personal injury to both workers and inhabitants of the area.
In this case one worker is suspected to have been exposed to this dangerous carcinogen and officials claim that, due to the nature of the silica, it is unlikely to affect air quality and poses little threat to anyone living in the area. Nevertheless, neighborhood residents have been complaining of what they call the "Second Avenue cough," which they attribute to dust storms and poor air quality surrounding the construction site.
Due to the silica exposure, the three joint contractors of the construction site have been ordered to pay a $4,250 fine. This fine is in addition to another $4,250 for not ensuring that their workers' face masks fit properly. Negligence in these safety measures can be serious, especially seeing as the one worker who was exposed to the silica apparently had an improperly fitting mask.
It is the responsibility of the contractors of a construction site in New York City and everywhere else across the country to work to maintain the safety of their workers and prevent any type of construction site accident that may occur. When they fail to do so, the possibility exists for serious injuries or even death among not only construction site workers but potentially among civilians passing or living nearby. Victims of construction related accidents may benefit from knowing what factors may have caused their accident as they assess their rights under the law.
Source: New York Post, "Lung hazard at 2nd Ave. Subway," Jennifer Fermino, March 19, 2012