It has been over two years since Robert McGee of Bohemia died as a result of a incident while working on a construction site. Recently, charges have been filed against the general contractor and subcontractor in charge of the job where McGee was crushed to death after a cinder block wall collapsed. Many in the industry believe this and other construction site accidents are not really accidents at all, but rather foreseeable events which could be prevented.
The court will decide whether or not the death of McGee was preventable if the companies in charge would have acted in a different manner. In a recent online news report from silive.com, details of the accident suggest it may have been prevented. As stated in the report, "It was just a matter of time before that wall went down," laborer Terry Lane told the Advance that day, noting that it appeared not to be braced properly. "If there was heavy wind, you would see it wobble."
Charged with criminally negligent homicide is Michael Fazio and his company Woodrow Builders LLC. Fazio was the general contractor on the job, while Anthony Malfi is listed as the subcontractor. Well Built Development Corporation is Malfi's firm, both of which have been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment in the case.
Workplace safety is not optional, and employers must take this responsibility seriously. In the construction business, accidents are the source of many serious injuries and as in this case, death. All the more reason for construction workers and their employers to pay close attention to the rules and regulations regarding safety on the workplace. Whether or not this accident was in fact preventable remains to be seen, however one thing is certain. The loss of life in not something which can be taken lightly in this or any other industry and parties responsible for such accidents should be held accountable.