Two workers suffered grave injuries in separate construction accidents over the span of two days in New York City. According to news reports, the first incident happened on Thursday July 12, in Upper Manhattan at a 13-story building on Riverside Drive near the northern end of Riverside Park in Morningside Heights. The 28-year-old victim was struck in the head by a piece of scaffolding. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The New York City Department of Buildings is investigating this case.
The second construction accident occurred a day later on July 13 when a construction worker fell down a hole at a Brooklyn worksite and was pulled out by firefighters. The FDNY responded to the accident scene on Union Avenue near Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. Medics transported the worker to a local hospital with serious injuries. He was expected to survive. The city’s Department of Buildings sent inspectors to the site the same day after a complaint that site conditions were injuring workers.
Construction Accidents and Safety Violations
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, 49 percent of deaths in New York State and 59 percent of deaths in New York City in the year 2014 were caused by falls. In the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NYCOSH) analysis of all construction site inspections in New York State in 2014, it found more than 68 percent of site inspections revealed safety violations.
Also, safety violations were found at 87 percent of fatality sites inspected by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2014, and more than 90 percent in 2015. Non-union construction sites were found to be particularly hazardous for construction workers.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of construction accidents in New York City:
Falls: Falls accounted for 384 out of 991 deaths – or 38.7 percent — in the construction industry in 2016. Falls may occur when workers slip and fall on spilled liquids or trip on debris, etc. Falls from higher elevations or scaffolding are the most common cause of construction accident fatalities. Workers must be provided with proper fall protection devices such as guardrails, safety nets and harnesses.
Struck-by objects: Construction sites are filled with objects and equipment that are used for various jobs and often workers or even passersby get struck by falling objects.
Electrocutions: This is when a person or an object comes into contact with power lines or is exposed to sources of electricity. One of the most common types of construction accidents that occur is when a worker on a ladder makes contact with an overhead power line. The job site must be properly checked to ensure that it is safe before workers begin their jobs.
Caught-in/between: This occurs when a worker’s body is caught between two or more objects. Examples include body parts caught in the moving parts of unguarded machinery, equipment rollovers and getting pinned between objects such as walls and heavy machinery.
Compensation for Workers and Families
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical 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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