A 45-year-old worker was injured in a Brooklyn construction accident after he fell 15 feet down a shaft at the work site. According to a report in the New York Daily News, this was the third time since May that a worker has been injured at the site on Surf Avenue near West 35th Street in Coney Island where two 21-story residential buildings are being constructed. First responders arrived at the scene and found the worker conscious but complaining of back pain. He was rushed to an area hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Prior Incidents at the Worksite
Workers told authorities that the man was working on the first floor of the building when he fell down the shaft. The New York City Department of Buildings barred further construction on the site until the accident investigation is completed. City documents show more than 400 workers are building the high-rises at the location.
On June 22, a worker fell off a ramp and got pinned between a cart and the building, city records show. In an earlier incident on May 1, a worker lost consciousness and fell. Neither worker was seriously injured. Since September 2017, the Department of Buildings has looked into 17 complaints regarding this worksite. Six of those complaints involved workplace injuries.
Why Fall Protection is Crucial
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 49 percent of deaths during work on or near elevators or shafts occurred because workers lacked fall protection. Workers are required under state and federal laws to be provided with adequate fall protection such as scaffolding and guardrails, harnesses with ropes, and nets, etc.
Personal fall protection systems can help greatly to reduce these types of incidents especially as a vast majority of construction workers such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, laborers or electricians tend to work from heights or on scaffolds. Regulations set forth by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that employers must provide fall protection such as guardrails, safety nets or harnesses when construction workers are operating at heights of 6 feet or greater above a lower level. Any floor cover must support a weight that is twice that of the load placed on it. The majority of falls at construction sites, according to OSHA, are entirely preventable.
When using personal fall protection systems such as harnesses, workers must be anchored to the structure at all times. Temporary structures on which workers are standing must be stable and strong enough to take the weight of the worker and should meet OSHA standards for scaffolds. A fall into an open shaft lacking adequate guardrails was an important factor, according to BLS, for a majority of construction worker fatalities involving falls into elevator shafts.
Construction accidents have significant, long-lasting effects on workers and their families. Workers suffer significant injuries as a result of falling from heights at construction sites including, but not limited to, head or traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, multiple broken bones, amputations, impalement injuries, internal organ injuries, etc. Construction accidents, particularly falls, may result in fatalities.
These types of accidents not only devastate workers who may be disabled for life and unable to earn a future livelihood, but also their families. When a fatality occurs, the victim’s family often loses its only means of financial support. Those workers who are seriously injured typically lose a significant amount of wages. They may even lose their capacity to earn as a result of the catastrophic injuries. Construction accident victims and their families need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on their side – one who will fight for their rights and help them secure fair and full compensation for their losses.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. 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.
If you have suffered injuries in a construction 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. 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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