Bayville Construction Accident Still Under Investigation

An October injury-causing accident at the site of an under-construction Bayville area Quick Chek convenience store is still under investigation by state and local authorities. The October 20, 2011, accident involved the collapse of newly erected roof trusses; it is suspected that high winds contributed to the collapse, but the ultimate cause has not yet been determined. Five construction workers were injured in the incident, four of them receiving superficial injuries and one requiring more extensive treatment. Injuries ranged from chest pains and lacerations to broken bones.

Berkeley Township authorities suspect that windy conditions were the cause of the roof trusses collapsing and falling upon the workers, but the investigation by local law enforcement and the New Jersey state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is ongoing. It may yet turn out that negligence by the site's general contractor — the J.G. Petrucci Company — or the subcontractor working on the roof truss construction — Fredericks Contracting — could be the ultimate cause of the accident.

Unfortunately, construction site accidents are all too common in New Jersey and across the country. OSHA estimates that nearly 100 people are killed on the job in New Jersey each year, many of those on construction sites. The presence of heavy equipment, dangerous power tools, ungrounded electrical outlets, ladders and scaffolds — mixed with rain, snow, winds, heat, glare and other natural elements — can mean disaster for construction workers, resulting in hundreds of:

  • Falls from scaffolds, ladders and rooftops
  • Crane collapses
  • Trench collapses
  • Power tool injuries (particularly from circular saws and nail guns)
  • Electrocution/shock
  • Burns
  • Being struck by heavy equipment or work site vehicles
  • Dropped tools, boards, bricks or other supplies

Many workplace accidents are just that: accidents. Those cases might involve an injured worker's need to apply for workers' compensation benefits. Other cases, however, are the result of the negligence of an equipment manufacturer, a site visitor, a subcontractor or a property owner. These cases could possibly involve a third-party liability claim that should be handled by a skilled personal injury attorney who has the knowledge necessary to navigate the nuances of construction site injuries.