Sometimes the most dangerous part of any job is finishing it. You’re probably exhausted both mentally and physically and the things that are typically fairly easy to do begin to get a little harder. In this industry a lapse in concentration can cause you bodily harm (anything from a splinter in your finger to a lost appendage), that much one can accept, it’s a dangerous profession so it comes with the territory, but very rarely do we see a death associated with being a contractor. Death doesn’t usually happen because of a lapse in concentration. They’re usually attributed to inadequate regulation, poor working conditions and, from time to time, freak accidents. And a freak accident is exactly what happened in Maple Shade, N.J. last week when a wall fell and crushed a Mancuso Contractors Inc. employee.
The subcontracting firm had been charged with the responsibility of removing and demolishing the Old Blockbuster Video building on Route 38. Jose David Castro, the 40-year-old victim, had been standing next to the last standing wall of the structure when it came toppling down. The debris launched Castro into a trench, according to News 10 reporters David Chang and Karen Araiza, where the debris from the wall buried him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘Accidents’, as far as the ones we have seen, are typically a result of inadequate regulations or poor working conditions. In the case of Mr. Castro, the company was quick to present all of the necessary permits to Cherry Hill Fire Director who verified that the company had acquired the proper permits for the demolition. But such permits were not enough for construction accident attorney Andrew Duffy.
“Proper permitting does not always equal proper safety standards,” said Mr. Duffy.
That’s why investigators from both the Camden County’s Prosecutor’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are taking a closer look at the situation. And while Mancuso may have had the proper permits they do not exactly have a reputation for respecting worker safety as OSHA has cited them thrice before for serious violations.
If you’re a general contractor, make sure you have the necessary legal protection and insurance not only to avoid future litigation but to also protect the lives and well being of your employees. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-649-9094. Stay safe!