New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) Workers’ Lack of Training Worries Safety Advocates

Union leaders say they are worried that unqualified workers are filling in to do repair work on New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) elevators. According to documents obtained by the New York Daily News, because of an inability to fill job postings for elevator mechanic’s helpers, the Housing Authority has been using laborers with little training to do the work, which may increase the risk of malfunctioning elevators and elevator accidents.

Less Qualified Workers

The Daily News reports that at least 18 people who work under the unskilled “city laborer” designation have been assigned to do elevator repair work in 17 public housing developments (the Projects) including the Millbrook, Marcy and Baruch houses. Lawyers for NYCHA (the Projects) said they hired less skilled laborers to fill the posts because it was not able to identify “a sufficient number of qualified mechanic’s helpers.”

They said city laborers undergo a training program and are always supervised by qualified elevator mechanics and never placed on night shifts where there is less supervision. A NYCHA (the Projects) spokeswoman said that if the laborers show they are not up to performing the job at hand, they will be released from their duties. But safety advocates and union leaders say that these laborers who are paid $36.25 an hour, $5.25 more than the $31 hourly wage elevator mechanic’s helpers make, are not nearly as well trained to do the work because helpers are required to have three years of on-the-job experience before they are allowed to take on such work.

What Do Elevator Mechanic’s Helpers Do?

Elevator mechanic’s helpers typically work under direct supervision and assist in the maintenance and repair of electrically and/or hydraulically powered passenger or freight elevators. They help elevator mechanics in making mechanical and electrical repairs and adjustments to elevator components including cables, sheaves, glands, motors, generators, starters, relays and control brakes.

They also make routine inspections of elevator equipment and use tools and instruments essential to elevator maintenance and repair. They may also be required to climb ladders and elevator shafts, move heavy elevator parts, carry heavy toolboxes, work in elevator pits and work near live electrical circuits and moving elevators.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

Depending on the circumstances of the elevator accident, a number of parties can be held liable for the incident and damages caused. For example, if an elevator accident occurs in an apartment building, the landlord (building owner) and/or property manager can be held accountable. If the elevator accident occurred because the elevator was not repaired and/or inspected properly, then the company that serviced or repaired the elevator can be held liable for the accident.

If a worker was injured while servicing or repairing the elevator, he or she can seek workers’ compensation benefits through his employer. An experienced New York City elevator accident lawyer can evaluate each case and its circumstances and help injured victims or families of deceased victims pursue fair compensation for their losses.

Injured victims of elevator accidents can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased victims can file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses as well.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or if you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords (building owners) and building managers. 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.

For nearly 50 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. In an interview by the Canadian television station Global News after a fatal escalator accident in Montreal, Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm stated that the installation of emergency stop buttons that are easily located and run the entire length of the escalator stairs may go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities. 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

Please visit us at:


Leave a Reply