Stairway Falls at Construction/Demolition Sites
Given that falls account for the largest number of injuries on construction sites, New York construction injury lawyers tend to see more of these cases than others. Stairways at sites are particularly treacherous areas where serious injury can occur. Often these stairways are compromised in some way.
Stairways on construction sites are often used by workers as a simple and quick way to move between floors. After all, generally no elevator is in place; in unfinished structures they are only operable near completion, and in buildings requiring extensive reconstruction they may not be safe. Moving a scaffold from the fifth to the fourth floor simply to do a few checks below would take too much time, some construction workers might argue.
Stairways Are Among the Most Dangerous Places at Construction Sites
Yet few places on a site have more potential to cause injuries. Heavy foot traffic can lead to a worker accidentally bumping into another. Handrails may be damaged or missing. A worker who leans on a cracked rail may easily fall. Transporting all but the lightest of tools and materials can be hazardous as well. A worker who carries a heavy tool box may lose his balance and tumble down the steps. Lighting on construction site stairways may be inadequate, too. OSHA standards call for a minimum of 5 candles of light, but contractors may not fully abide by rules. The steps may be littered with trash, debris, or tools which cause workers to trip.
Similar dangers lurk on stairs in demolition zones. Indeed, the fact that a building is scheduled for destruction generally suggests it is in significant disrepair. Broken steps, damaged risers, and compromised foundations can all lead to worker injuries.
OSHA and ANSI have set in place specific regulations for demolition areas. Workers must be fully trained. Those who actually place explosives are required to have a thorough understanding of engineering principles as they apply to demolition. Safety equipment is to be worn at all times while on the site.
Injuries Resulting From Stairway Falls
Regardless, injuries do occur, and often. The most common are also in many cases the most severe. A fall down stairs can cause permanent injury to the spine, leaving a worker unemployable in his field. Head, neck, and brain injuries are frequent as well. Other potential injuries include broken ribs, arms, legs, or hips, crushed/damaged organs, and gashes.
Preventative measures such as safety training and inspection of the stairways prior to each shift can help ensure a safe workplace. However, no amount of preparation will completely eliminate injury hazards. When an injury occurs, it is important to meet with a New York construction injury lawyer to discuss one’s options.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York personal injury accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5486) for a free and comprehensive consultation. We can also help with personal injury cases in 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.