Three fatal construction accidents in New York City in just one week has city officials and safety advocates concerned once again about the dangers faced by construction workers and laborers in a city where the building and rebuilding never seems to stop. According to a report in The Real Deal, the most recent incident was a fatal crane accident that occurred early morning on April 13 at a construction site at 570 Broome Street. A 34-year-old worker was killed after a crane counterweight fell on him. At least one other worker was injured in that incident and hospitalized.
Series of Fatal Construction Accidents
A preliminary investigation by the New York City Department of Buildings has determined that the workers were erecting a crane at the scene when the counterweight for the crane fell and fatally struck the victim. The Department of Buildings has ordered work on the crane to stop and for it to be dismantled and removed. Officials have also halted all other work on the site as the investigation continues. Records show that there were at least two other complaints filed regarding safety at this particular site prior to this worker’s death.
Sadly, this marks the third fatality on a construction site just over the last one week. On April 10, a 23-year-old worker fell to his death while laying bricks at a co-op in Brooklyn Heights. And on April 8, a 51-year-old worker was killed by falling debris while repairing masonry at a Turtle Bay rental.
Concerns Over Worker Safety
Two of the fatal construction accidents here involved struck-by injuries and one involved a fall. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), struck-by incidents and falls are two of the four major factors that lead to fatal construction accidents, which are preventable. The other two factors are caught in/between accidents and electrocutions.
The three deadly construction accidents have re-ignited a conversation among city officials regarding putting more measures in place to enhance construction site safety. Brooklyn Councilman Robert E. Cornegy Jr. said these incidents further indicate the importance of implementing construction site safety training mandates such as Local Law 196 of 2017.
This law requires construction workers to complete certain levels of safety training phased in over time. Workers will eventually be required to get 40 hours of training and supervisors will need to complete at least 62 hours. But, in November, the city pushed back the deadline for the most recent phase, which requires workers to get at least 30 hours of safety training, and the delay was blamed on the dearth of approved instructors to provide the training.
Construction companies and contractors who undertake building or renovation projects have a duty to provide workers with proper training in a language they can comprehend, as well as provide the workers with personal protective equipment such as fall safety devices, hard hats, vests, ear protection, safety goggles for eye protection, etc. Implementing construction site safety procedures is critical for workers and it is the responsibility of building and/or property owners to ensure that the work site is secure.
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. 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.
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.
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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Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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