Most tall buildings in Connecticut make extensive use of glass panels on the exterior walls. These panels are very heavy and can pose a risk to workers if they are not secured at all times before installation. In a recent construction site accident, one such panel was on a loading dock awaiting installation when it tipped over and killed a nearby worker.

The accident occurred on May 26 at the construction site of a midtown skyscraper in New York City. The panel was approximately 8×14 feet and was sitting in a loading dock. Workers were moving the panel when, for unknown reasons, the panel tipped over and fell to the ground, crushing a security worker who was standing by the panel. Emergency personnel found the man unconscious and unresponsive with “severe body trauma.” The falling panel also inflicted non-life-threatening injuries on another worker. Both men were transported to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where the security worker was pronounced dead.

The city responded to the incident by issuing a stop work order and citation to the property owners for failing to safeguard the site. The building is planned to rise to 1,550 feet, making it the second tallest building in the world.

The exact cause of the accident is unknown, but the family of the man who was killed and the injured man have claims for workers’ compensation benefits against their employers. If the accident was caused by the employee of a party who is not an employer of either of the men, the survivors and the injured man may have third-party claims for damages. Anyone who is injured or loses a loved one in a construction site accident may wish to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for advice on how to obtain full recovery from the workers’ compensation system and how to pursue a possible third-party claim.