A full stop work order was issued at a Queens construction site after sections of a scaffold collapsed onto a sidewalk shed and two parked cars below. According to an NBC News report, the scaffolding collapse damaged property, but did not cause any injuries. The New York City Department of Buildings confirmed it was called to a two-story construction site on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing after reports of the collapse. Video posted to the Citizen app showed the sidewalk shed in shambles.
The debris covered two parked cars in front of the building, officials said. A parapet wall was also damaged. The site’s general contractor was cited for failure to safeguard the project and for erecting pipe scaffolding in violation of New York City’s building code, officials said. The investigation is ongoing.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Collapses
More than 75% of workers in the construction industry operate on scaffolds to complete various necessary tasks on a worksite. Workers in New York City such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, painters, window washers, and electricians etc. carry out their tasks while on scaffolds, ladders, platforms, etc. Scaffolds are essentially temporary structures that are erected by construction companies for specific purposes.
However, when scaffolds are constructed without proper planning and care they put workers, pedestrians and bystanders in harm’s way. Some of the most common causes of scaffolding collapses include scaffolding that is not constructed properly; scaffolding built with substandard parts or materials; overloading scaffolding platforms; not inspecting or maintaining scaffolding properly or often enough; and failing to comply with standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for scaffolding safety.
Scaffolding collapses can lead to major or even fatal injuries at worksites including, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, crushing injuries, multiple fractures, internal organ damage, etc.
New York’s Scaffolding Law
New York’s Scaffolding Law (Section 240 of the New York Labor Law) requires contractors, owners and their agents to be responsible for providing necessary equipment such as scaffolds, ladders, hoists, stays, irons, ropes, blocks braces and other devices to keep workers safe from fall-related accidents. Since this law was enacted in the early part of the 20th century, workers injured in scaffolding accidents have had the ability to bring civil actions against the contractor and property owner/managing agent responsible for the safety of the jobsite.
Accidents involving falls from ladders and scaffolds can result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Workers who fall off scaffolds may suffer devastating head injuries, multiple broken bones or even paralysis as a result of spinal cord trauma. Workers may not be able to return to their jobs for an extended period of time. Some workers who suffer these types of injuries may never be able to return to the jobsite or earn a future livelihood.
Compensation for Injured Workers
Workers who have been injured in fall-related accidents may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, workers may also be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent (careless) party other than the employer or co-employees for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses.
Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents 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 who may be held liable for the fatal incident.
If you or a loved one has been injured 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. For over 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 $3,375,576 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/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.
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