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Masonry collapse kills one construction worker, injures another

When construction workers are injured on the job, their injuries are frequently serious ones because of the conditions they work in -- often at precarious heights, using heavy or sharp machinery or tools, and sometimes all of the above. And when a section of an existing building or a building under construction, the rubble can be deadly to those unlucky enough to be nearby at the time.

This is the situation that played out recently in a job site accident at a Maplewood restaurant. The restaurant was having a stairwell built in the back of the building; the current setup forces employees of the restaurant to go outside in order to get to the basement. The restaurant did have the proper permits it needed to have the work done to create an additional stairwell.

In the process of constructing the staircase, some masonry work inside the restaurant collapsed. The resulting deluge of rubble buried one worker; the town's fire chief said the man died at the scene; his body was removed less than two hours after the accident. A second worker was taken to the hospital in serious condition as a result of his injuries, but they were said not to be life-threatening. A third worker who was working on the construction project wasn't hurt.

Whenever a worker loses his life on the job, there are many questions that need to be answered. It may take some time for investigators to do their work. In the meantime, the survivors often want to seek the benefits they deserve in the wake of such a tragedy.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Internal collapse in Maplewood restaurant kills 1, injures 1," Seth Augenstein, May 30, 2014

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