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Fatal Falling Equipment Accident in Brooklyn

December 10, 2022
Photo of injured construction worker

Recently, Pape Khoule, a 46-year-old construction worker of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was killed at work on a construction site in Brooklyn. He was struck and crushed by a piece of falling equipment weighing over 2,000 pounds, according to the NYPD. According to the New York Department of Buildings (DOB), Khoule’s death is the fifth construction-related death in New York this year.

The construction accident took place in Greenpoint at approximately 9:10 am on September 13 at a construction site on West and Java streets while Khoule was working on the 14-story housing development. The building is managed and owned and managed by the investment and real estate group Lendlease.

Khoule had been attempting to attach the extension arm to the excavator when it fell right on top of him. He suffered severe body trauma because he was crushed under the attachment's massive weight and was pronounced dead right after. Eric Ulrich, the DOB commissioner, stated that Khoule was wearing proper protective gear before the accident, but the gear simply was not enough to prevent his death.

The DOB is still investigating the construction accident and has received several complaints regarding the construction site, which were not substantiated at the time of the accident. It issued a stop work order on the massive construction site that spans an entire block to allow the department to review the premises.

Despite several complaints, the construction site had no prior violations. DOB, in cooperation with the NYPD, will likewise investigate all the construction sites owned by Lendlease in New York.

Liability in Construction Site Accidents

Construction companies, contractors, and other parties all have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their workers. Primarily, this includes complying with OSHA regulations, ensuring that all equipment, tools, and machinery are functioning properly, and providing extensive safety training. Otherwise, objects that accidentally fall, swing, slide, slip, fly, and roll can seriously or fatally injure a worker, like in the unfortunate case of Pape Khoule. 

According to OSHA, approximately 75% of deaths resulting from struck-by-object deaths involve heavy equipment. Struck by heavy equipment or objects is considered by OSHA as one of the "fatal four" causes of construction accidents.

If a construction worker gets injured or dies in an accident due to a party’s negligence, the party can be held accountable for the resulting injuries and losses. Depending on the specific facts of the construction accident, an injured worker may recover workers’ compensation benefits from their employer’s insurance provider and compensation from other liable third parties.

Seek Legal Advice From a Seasoned Brooklyn Construction Accident Attorney

Did you suffer injuries while working at a construction site in Brooklyn? Or did a loved one unexpectedly lose their life due to a construction site accident? You are legally entitled to demand financial compensation to cover your losses. To learn more about the legal options available to you in a free case evaluation with our Brooklyn construction accident attorney, contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman by sending an online message or calling our office at 347-822-3937.