A man was injured in a construction accident after he fell through a plank into the cellar of an Upper East Side townhouse. According to a 1010 WINS news report, construction workers were demolishing part of the interior of 1083 5th Avenue, between East 89th and 90th streets, when one worker fell through a plank and landed in the cellar. He was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, but is expected to survive.
Workers at the construction site were reportedly in the process of converting a seven-story commercial building into a residential home. The New York City Department of Buildings is investigating this incident and may take enforcement actions pending the investigation’s results. The building was owned by the National Academy of Design up until two years ago when the association sold it for $25 million.
Construction Accidents and Falls
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), out of 4,779 worker deaths in private industry during the year 2018, 1,008 or 21.1% were in construction. That means, one in five of these worker deaths in 2018 occurred in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
Personal fall protection systems can also help prevent these deaths. A lot of construction activity in New York requires working from a height or elevation. Ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, laborers or electricians usually need to work by using scaffolds, platforms, ladders etc. to carry out their tasks.
Contractors and construction companies are required under the law to maintain a workplace that prevents employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into holes in the floor. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of 4 feet in general industry workplaces, 5 feet in shipyards, 6 feet in the construction industry and 8 feet in long-shoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.
Here are some of the steps that construction companies and contractors must take to prevent workplace falls:
• Guard every floor hole through which workers can fall by using a railing and toe-board or floor hole cover.
• Provide a guardrail or toe board around every elevated open-sided platform, floor or runway.
• Provide fall protection including safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railing, handrails, etc.
• Keep floors in work areas in clean and dry condition.
• Select and provide required personal protective equipment to workers at no cost.
• Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
Injuries and Damages
Construction workers may suffer major or even catastrophic injuries in worksite accidents, especially if they fall from heights. Workers may suffer injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, bone fractures and internal organ damage that might prevent them from coming back to work for an extended period of time. Some may even lose their livelihoods altogether, causing tremendous financial strain for victims and their families.
Construction 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.
Contacting a Construction Accident 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 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.
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