Construction Worker Killed In Staten Island Forklift Accident

A 55-year-old man was recently killed in a forklift accident in New York City, leading to some speculation that a New York construction accident lawsuit could follow. The victim of the accident, Abbas Behnam-Bakhsh, was killed in front of his son when a steel pipe fell from a nearby forklift and crushed him to death.

Construction worker crushed by steel pipe

Behnam-Bakhsh worked for Bedford Construction, a company participating in the rebuilding efforts on Governor’s Island. He and his son, who also worked for the construction company, were standing near a flatbed truck at around 8:30 in the morning, where the forklift was unloading the 15-foot sewer pipe. The approximate weight of the pipe was 6,000 pounds.

Suddenly, one of the straps holding the pipe broke loose, sending the steel piece crashing down on Behnam-Bakhsh. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other workers incurred minor injuries after attempting to help Behnam-Bakhsh.

Behnam-Bakhsh was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 15. His son, who witnessed the accident firsthand, is still trying to grapple with the loss of his father. Others described Behnam-Bakhsh as a “well-liked” individual who “believed in doing the right thing.” At this time, there is no word on whether a New York construction accident lawsuit will be filed in this case, although it is currently under investigation by the  Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Forklift accident not isolated event

Sadly, Behnam-Bakhsh’s death is not an isolated NY forklift accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 1,021 workers died from injuries related to forklift accidents between 1980 and 1994. Fatalities resulted from overturned forklifts, crushing accidents and falls. In 1995 alone, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identified 94 deaths related to forklift accidents.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has a list of guidelines for operators of large industrial trucks like forklifts in an effort to minimize accidents. Guidelines vary based on the type of vehicle used and the specifics of the construction site. Employers are responsible for ensuring that truck operators are properly trained in the operation of the vehicle, and that proper steps are followed to protect the safety of everyone at the job site.

Construction workers injured on the job are entitled to receive workmen’s compensation, whether or not they belong to a union. Unfortunately, the amount collected from workmen’s comp is usually insufficient for paying all the medical bills and lost wages that tend to add up after this type of injury. In New York, direct employers cannot be held liable for construction accident injuries.

Finding an experienced New York accident attorney

The good news is accident victims do have other options available. Third-parties, including architects, manufacturers, property owners, contractors, and suppliers may be held liable for accident-related injuries. However, it is important to have an attorney experienced in handling a New York construction accident lawsuit involved to ensure a worker’s rights are protected and full compensation is pursued.

The Sanders Firm has decades of experience helping injured New York workers obtain court awards and settlements to help pay for medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

If you or a loved one has been injured through a NY forklift accident, or any other kind of construction site accident, contact The Sanders Firm today. We work with clients from Staten Island, Long Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, helping them pursue the compensation they are entitled to. Case evaluations are free, and no fees are charged unless you obtain a settlement or court award. Call us toll-free at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY (800.324.7752).