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LIC Construction Worker Trapped, Critically Injured Western

Queens Gazette - September 27, 2017

by Queens Gazette

By Liz Goff A construction worker was critically injured on September 22, when a Bobcat machine fell on top of him, trapping him at a job site on Northern Boulevard and 46th Street in Long Island City. Fire officials said the machine fell on top of the worker at about 1:45 pm on September 22, forcing firefighters from Rescue 4 to perform a high-angle rescue. Members of the specialized unit worked for more than 30 minutes to free the victim, a fire spokesperson said.

The man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center with multiple injuries, where he was listed in critical condition.

It is unclear what caused the Bobcat to tumble on top of the worker, police said. An investigation is ongoing by both the NYPD and the FDNY.

Workers are building a subway system ventilation plant at the site as part of an MTA NYC Capital Improvement Program.

The victim is one of at least four construction workers injured or killed on the job over a two-day period last week.

A 36-year-old construction worker fell to his death on September 21 while working on a luxury condo project in Manhattan’s Financial District. Hours later, a 45-year-old worker died after falling 36 feet to the ground, from a bucket lift at a construction site on Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street in Manhattan.

Stop Work orders were issued for the sites, and violations could be issued to the construction companies pending the outcome of ongoing investigations.

Nearly 40 workers have died at construction sites in the five boroughs since 2015, records show.

Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peter said he has established a Construction Fraud task force to check for fake credentials at city job sites. Peter described the number of fatalities as “disturbing” and said he is seeking stiffer fines and criminal charges for violators.

The City Council is poised to pass a measure requiring 40 hours of safety training for city construction workers. The bill sponsored by Councilman Jumaane D. Williams provides $5 million in taxpayer funds to help non-union construction workers pay for the training.