A 54-year-old stagehand fell to his death from a ladder inside Broadway’s Winter Garden Theater as workers were restoring the venue in preparation for next year. According to a news report on Deadline.com, the incident occurred the morning of Nov. 12 when the victim fell from the fly floor (a raised platform) above the stage. He succumbed to his injuries. NYPD and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are both investigating the incident.
According to NYPD, the worker fell while performing routine maintenance work at the theater. A theater porter told reporters that he was cleaning up under the stage when he heard a loud noise. He then ran up the stairs and saw the victim lying on his back. The injured man was transported to an area hospital, but did not survive his injuries. The investigation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased man’s family members and co-workers.
The Danger of Ladder Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, more than 500,000 people each year are treated and more than 300 people die from ladder-related injuries. The estimated cost of ladder injuries in the United States is about $24 billion, which includes work loss, medical, legal, liability and pain and suffering expenses. A large number of construction workers such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, laborers or electricians work from an elevation or height by using scaffolds, platforms, ladders etc. Workers who are male, Hispanic, older, self-employed and in construction, maintenance or repair experience higher ladder fall injury rates.
Here are some of the main reasons why ladder fall accidents occur:
Incorrect setup and selection: According to the CDC, in about 40% of cases, the leading cause of ladder-related injuries is a ladder sliding out at the base. Sometimes, selecting a ladder that is not appropriate (due to no other ladder being available) for the job at hand can also lead to an accident. Contractors and construction companies have a duty to train workers in a language that they understand.
Insufficient inspection and supervision: The likelihood of a ladder’s structural failure can be significantly reduced with proper inspection and maintenance. Ladders that are old, broken or worn out should be promptly replaced. Workers should also be properly supervised at the worksite.
Lack of access to safety tools and information: Sometimes, companies, owners, managing agents or contractors don’t provide the required safety training to workers for using these ladders. Workers may also not have access to safety information and/or the resources to follow an effective ladder safety program. Companies should provide workers with fall safety equipment such as hard hats, harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, etc.
Contacting a Construction Accident Lawyer
Ladder accidents can cause a number of serious injuries. Brain injuries may occur as a result of a blow or jolt to the head. Even brain injuries that are not fatal or life-threatening may require long-term or lifelong care. Spinal cord and back injuries are also common in ladder accidents. These injuries can result in a range of symptoms from chronic pain to paralysis.
A fall off a ladder can also cause a lung to be punctured or a rupture of the spleen. These types of injuries to internal organs are extremely dangerous and require immediate medical treatment and care. Ladder accidents may result in other injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, sprains and scarring.
Workers in New York are protected under federal and state laws. Therefore, a worker who suffers a fall from a ladder can seek workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and thus have two sources of compensation. Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party.
If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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