Bystanders were stunned as a massive industrial air conditioner plunged from an overhead crane and rolled on top of the New York Construction worker responsible for guiding the crane's operator. This construction site accident, which took place outside of a Bronx hospital, has many people looking for answers.
An hour after the accident, crews were finally able to hoist the 40-foot air conditioner off of the worker's body. Even though the incident took place just outside of a hospital, medical personnel couldn't do anything to resuscitate the man. The weight of the 40-foot piece of machinery completely crushed the 35-year-old man.
The worker's crew was attempting to use a crane to life the cooling unit from a flatbed truck onto the top of the building. However, the cable snapped before the air conditioner made it safely to the roof.
The companies responsible for delivering the air conditioner to the hospital site had representatives at the scene of the accident. However, in the immediate wake of the worker's death, they declined to comment on the situation.
As is the case in many construction-related incidents, there are several parties involved in any given project. In the coming days, it may be vital to explore exactly what caused the crane's cable to break. There is a chance that a third party's negligence -- not limited to the worker's employer -- contributed to the accident by failing to maintain the crane or follow established safety procedures.
Even though workers' compensation death benefits may be provided to the deceased man's family, it may not be enough to make up for the emotional and financial strain created by the accident. As such, it may be valuable to see if third-party claims are a viable legal option.
Source: New York Daily News, "Giant AC crushes, kills man outside Bronx-Lebanon Hospital," Rocco Parascandola, Denis Slattery and Stephen Rex Brown, Dec. 4, 2012