Construction has become the deadliest job in New York City with statistics showing that accidents, injuries and deaths are on the rise. According to a CBS2 news release, last month thousands gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to mourn 16 workers who died this past year in construction accidents. Three workers died in the month of April alone, including one crushed by a crane in SoHo and another killed by falling debris on Manhattan’s east side.
Violation of Safety Standards
The robust construction market has had a downside, and that’s the number of injuries and fatalities involving construction workers. According to city data, worksite deaths are up 33 percent compared to five years ago. Worksite injuries have increased by a staggering 221 percent during that same time. A bricklayer interviewed by CBS2 said some contractors are willing to underbid the job, then look to cut corners and hire cheap labor. A masonry worker said deadlines and pressures lead some to take risks. Construction companies and contractors put safety on the back burner.
There are about 45,000 active construction sites in the city. New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) officials say about 25 percent of active construction sites in the city are not in compliance for safety. Recently, the department sent out 90 inspectors on 12-hour shifts to go out and inspect 5,000 sites in just over a two-week period. Currently, all workers are required to have 10 hours of safety training. By 2020, under a new city law, they will be required to have 40 hours of safety training. When inspectors find workers who haven’t received proper training, the property owner, contractor and worker’s employer may all be fined $5,000 each.
Common Types of Construction Accidents
Falls from unsecured ladders and scaffolding are some of the most common types of construction site accidents. These types of falls may leave workers with broken bones, head injuries and spinal cord damage. Ladders that are used in construction should be well maintained and scaffolds should be properly constructed. Workers should be provided with fall safety devices such as harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, etc.
Falling objects such as tools and debris also pose a serious danger to construction workers. If communication is poor, objects may be dropped from above without warning giving workers little time to get out of the way. Falling objects can also pose serious dangers to passers by. Other common dangers include getting caught in or between equipment and being electrocuted.
It is crucial that construction companies and general contractors and building owners and managers involved in the project provide workers with comprehensive safety training in a language they comprehend. Workers should also be provided with personal protective equipment such as goggles (eye protection), ear protection, hard hats, vests, steel-toed shoes, etc. A number of construction site accidents can be prevented if construction companies and general contractors and building owners and managers follow safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But, when they cut corners and fail to maintain a safe environment, workers are in danger of suffering serious or even fatal injuries.
Compensation for Injured Workers
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. Families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident may be able to seek death benefits. 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 therefore 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. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer
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.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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