The accident that left a worker in serious condition on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) third track expansion project has led to an investigation on safety practices.
An independent safety consultant was hired on March 16 following an ironworker being electrocuted at the Mineola station site. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there has been a rash of incidents on the third track expansion project recently. Work has been suspended.
The latest mishap happened while a contractor was installing a prefabricated pedestrian bridge at the Mineola station. After the job was done the contractor decided to move another piece of steel with a crane. During the process the crane came in contact with energized overhead cables, electrocuting the worker, who was touching the piece of steel.
MTA Capital Construction says some protocols and procedures were not properly observed during the move. Additionally, the work did not have the required safety work plan and involved equipment that was not supposed to be used.
LIRR union leaders have been complaining about safety violations for weeks, most of them committed by outside contractors. The quest for finishing the project on time has led to builders cutting corners.