Construction Worker Killed in Fall from Manhattan Bridge

Two men who were working on the Manhattan Bridge fell in separate incidents — one of them plunging 100 feet to his death, and another who ended up suffering serious injuries. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the fatal fall occurred the afternoon of Nov. 17. The 37-year-old victim who was part of a 10-person crew, who officials said were all using safety harnesses, was painting on the Manhattan side of the bridge.

Deadly Fall and Injury

The crew had to unhook and reattach themselves as they changed position. The victim lost his footing in the process and plummeted to his death landing on the southwest corner of Pike Slip and South Street. The victim worked for a subcontractor of the construction company contracted by the Department of Transportation to work on the bridge, city officials said.

About an hour after the painter suffered the deadly fall, another worker, aged 55, fell a shorter distance onto a nearby building. Medics took him to a local hospital and said he was in stable condition. The MTA shut down power on the bridge’s subway lines as police investigated. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victim and the family of the deceased worker.

Falls at Worksites

Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths particularly in the construction industry. Many construction workers in New York City such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, painters, window washers, and electricians etc. tend to work from an elevation by using scaffolds, platforms, ladders etc.

Worksites are required under the law to have safety measures in place to prevent workers from falling off overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes or shafts. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of 4 feet in general industry workplaces, 5 feet in shipyards, 6 feet in the construction industry and 8 feet in long shoring operations.

In addition, fall protection must be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance. This type of personal protective equipment should be provided at no cost to workers. Construction workers should also receive proper job training, safety training and adequate supervision on the job.

Compensation for Workers and Families

Construction accident injuries can be debilitating and sometimes, even catastrophic or fatal. Workers who have been injured in a construction accident can seek workers’ compensation benefits from their 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.

There are local, state and federal laws that protect workers who have been injured in falls at construction sites. Section 240 of the New York Labor Law is commonly known as the “Scaffolding Law.” This statute governs the use of scaffolding in work sites and provides several specific categories of construction work to which it applies, including erection, demolition, repairs, altering or remodeling, painting, cleaning and pointing.

Further, this statute requires contractors, property owners and their agents to be responsible for providing the necessary equipment, including scaffolding, to keep workers safe from falls on the job. The law recognizes that falls are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and that they are preventable. Workers are required to be provided with fall safety devices when they are at a job site such as hoists, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, harnesses, safety nets, toe boards guardrails, etc. Scaffolds and worksites should be free of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall hazards that might cause these major injury accidents.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a construction site 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/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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