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OSHA to Investigate Wednesday’s Accident on Verrazano Bridge that Killed One

OSHA―the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration―has decided to probe an early morning truck accident that occurred on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge on Wednesday leaving one construction worker dead.

The fatal accident took place early morning Wednesday at about 2:34 am. Alex Shell, 61, from the Rego Park area in Queens, was at the site working in a closed construction zone which is adjacent to the bridge’s administration building. That is when a truck that was laying asphalt backed into him, crushing and killing the construction worker.

Truck driving accident attorneys who are familiar with the incident say it is terrific news for OSHA to respond and decide to investigate the accident. The OSHA probe will inspect the site and determine if there were any violations of workplace safety standards in connection with the accident. OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald has said that the federal authority is motivated to get to the bottom of the incident and find out what exactly happened on Wednesday morning.

Asphalt truck backed abruptly; crushed construction worker

According to the details known at the present time, the asphalt laying truck was backing into the construction area and was headed straight. Shell, who was walking behind the truck on a ramp, saw the truck moving and turned around to get out of the way. However, it is assumed that the truck driver did not see him walking there and took an abrupt turn which brought the truck directly into Shell’s path.

The injured worker was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Bridge, however, his injuries were so severe that he could not be helped. Shell was hired by STV, which was in turn hired by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) to act as the consultants on the construction job on the Verrazano Bridge.

Safety violations may have occurred says spokesman

NYPD sources say that a spotter was present on the scene with the aim to maintain safety, and since the accident happened despite the spotter’s presence makes it an OSHA investigation. If the investigation by the federal authority unearths evidence of safety violations, then OSHA has the power to issue citations to the employer or employers involved in the accident. That would be STV―the firm that hired Alex Shell, and the TBTA which contracted the STV to work on the site.

Determining the truth

OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald also said that while it is too early for the organization to make any conclusions about the accident and why it happened, there is a basic premise on what the investigation will be based on. Workers need to adhere to some work safety zone precautions that need to be laid down by the employers, and it is the employer’s burden to ensure that all workers comply to the norms that have been laid down. This is done to protect workers against incidents like the one that took Alex Shell’s life.

But what if Shell was not supposed to be where he was? What is Shell was at fault here? It is certainly too bad this happened and hopefully the truth is revealed.

The STV has so far refused to issue a statement on the accident.