A worker suffered life-threatening injuries in a construction accident after a malfunctioning elevator pinned him against a wall. The incident occurred at Pier 57, where celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain plans to open an international food market. According to a DNAinfo.com news report, the worker was traveling on a construction elevator outside of the pier at 29 11th Avenue near West 15th Street when the elevator abruptly broke and ejected him before trapping him against a wall.
FDNY crews were able to free the victim and transported him to a local hospital where he has been listed in critical condition. The New York City Department of Buildings’ investigators are looking into the incident. The pier is undergoing a massive overhaul that will include offices, retail spaces and markets. It is scheduled to open in 2019. It is not clear why the construction elevator malfunctioned. The investigation is ongoing.
Elevator Accidents Involving Workers
According to a 2009 report in the journal Occupational Health and Safety, workers who install and maintain elevators are at a high risk of injury and death. In addition, those who work on elevators or in the proximity of elevators such as the type used in the construction industry may also become injured in a number of ways such as falls into elevator shafts, electrocution or struck-by incidents.
Accidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 people and seriously injure about 17,000 people each year in the United States, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Among these, elevators cause almost 90 percent of the deaths and 60 percent of serious injuries. Injuries to individuals working on or near elevators, including those installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, and working in or near elevator shafts, account for 14 (almost half) of the annual deaths.
Nearly half of the deaths of workers working in or near elevator shafts were due to falls into the shaft. Incidents where workers were caught in/between moving parts of elevators and escalators, are in or on elevators or platforms that collapse, or are struck by elevators or counterweights are also prevalent.
Compensation for Injured Workers
It is crucial that workers have adequate job and safety training before commencing work at construction sites that utilize elevators. If workers are operating near elevator shafts, they need to have adequate fall protection devices such as harnesses and guardrails, nets, etc. Owners, managers, supervisors and others in charge of the construction site need to ensure that elevators used for the construction activity are in good shape and don’t pose a danger to workers. Injuries that occur as a result of elevator malfunctions tend to result in severe or catastrophic injuries that may prevent a worker from ever returning to his job. A victim may be disabled for life as a result of these often preventable accidents.
In such cases, injured workers may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits provided through their employers. In addition, they might be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than the employer or a co-employee and have two sources of compensation available. For example, in an accident involving a malfunctioning elevator, the worker may be able to file a lawsuit against the companies that manufactured, maintained, inspected, repaired, and/or installed the elevator. Other examples of third parties include but are not limited to general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managers etc.
If you are a worker who has been injured on the job, it is important that you file an injury report with your employer or supervisor right away. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Preserve as much evidence as possible from the scene of the incident. Obtain contact information for other workers and eyewitnesses who saw your accident. Contact an experienced New York construction accident lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
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, 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. In an interview by the Canadian television station Global News after a fatal escalator accident in Montreal, Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm stated that the installation of emergency stop buttons that are easily located and run the entire length of the escalator stairs could go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities.
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 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.
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