Three workers were injured in a scaffolding collapse in the Upper East Side after a large section of the scaffold outside a high-rise luxury building came crashing down. According to Uppereastsite.com, the construction site accident at the building on East 65th Street left a massive wreckage of twisted metal and splintered wood on its driveway.
Injuries and Damage Reported
Construction crews were working on the scaffolding when this collapse occurred. One 26-year-old worker who was injured in the scaffolding collapse was rushed to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two other workers were also injured. A car was crushed under the pile of debris, but was thankfully unoccupied.
Officials with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) who were at the scene of the collapse, say the crew was putting up scaffolding at the time. The DOB said the scaffolding company has been ordered to dismantle and take down the collapsed shed. The contractor was also cited for failure to safeguard the worksite. An investigation into the cause of the scaffolding collapse is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured workers and we wish them all a speedy and complete recovery.
What Causes Scaffolds to Collapse?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a vast majority of construction workers — from ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters and masons to electricians and painters, work from an elevation or height by using scaffolds, platforms, ladders, etc.
Scaffolds can vary in their assembly and durability depending on their purpose. For the most part, they are temporary structures that are built by construction companies for specific purposes. However, when scaffolds are built without proper planning and care, they put workers as well as bystanders and pedestrians at a significant risk of injury. Here are some of the most common causes of a scaffolding collapse:
• Shoddy or improper construction
• Scaffolding that is built with poor or substandard parts or materials
• Scaffolding platforms that are overloaded
• Lack of proper inspection and maintenance of the scaffolding
• Failure to comply with OSHA standards for scaffolding safety
Scaffolding collapses have the potential to result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, crushing injuries, multiple fractures, internal organ damage, etc.
New York’s Scaffold Law
Workers in New York are protected under federal and state laws. New York’s Scaffolding Law (Section 240 of the New York Labor Code) 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. Under this section of the labor code, workers injured in scaffolding accidents have the ability to bring civil actions against the general contractor and property owner/manager, etc. responsible for the safety of the jobsite.
Therefore, a worker who suffers a fall from a scaffold can seek workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of at-fault 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. 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.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related 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. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. 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: www.WORK4YOULAW.com