Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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laguardia airportTo prevent New York construction workers from being injured during the redevelopment of the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building Redevelopment Project, OSHA recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with Skanska- Walsh Joint Venture,  the company in charge of the $4 billion redevelopment project. This partnership was signed to ensure enhanced workplace safety and health for the 1,600 workers hired for this gigantic construction project. OSHA partnerships are unique programs during which the agency works  with private companies and organizations to eliminate serious hazards and enhance safety and health practices at the workplace.  According to a recent press release from OSHA, the partnership that includes federal officials, private companies and labor organizations will provide education and training as well as monitoring of workplace safety during the entire  length of the project. As part of the partnership with Skanska, OSHA representatives will be included in meetings, serve as liaison and resources, assist in training, provide assistance on demand and inspect the various construction sites on a regular basis to make sure all safety standards and practices are complied with. “The OSHA and Skanska- Walsh partnership will allow us to focus on preventing work-related fatalities and injuries, and controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York. “It will also establish a foundation for effective job site safety and health programs serving approximately 250 subcontractors and their employees at LaGuardia Airport through the project’s scheduled completion in 2022.”

ONLY UNION TRAINED CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

Worker safety has been a top concern for Skanska since the beginning of the project. Among the 1,600 workers  that will be working on the different phases of the project ( finance, design, construction, operation, and maintenance), 1,200 are construction workers. Skanska already announced last May that hired workers will be unionized (See NY Daily News article). The company signed a contract with the Building and Construction Trades Council which will manage the 16 different construction zones. For Skanska USA Building president Richard Kennedy, the contract with the Building and Construction Trades Council should increase safety standards during the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building Redevelopment Project  as all workers will be union trained in the latest standards and practices.

 

 

 

 

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spray foam insulation can be dangerous for construction workersConstruction workers using spray-foam insulation are exposed to chemicals that can lead to asthma and skin conditions if they don’t use adequate protection. Spray foam insulation is one of the most popular choices for home owners to save energy, however some of the chemicals used to make the foam are detrimental to human health.

Spray polyurethane foam contains isocyanates and flame retardant TCPP than can cause severe breathing and skin problems. In a recent webinar from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)  Dhimiter Bello, ScD, MSc; Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell explained the results of recent studies and summarized the risks of exposure to dangerous chemicals in spray foam insulation associated with current work practices.

Overall airborne exposure to spray foam insulation are usually below OSHA recommended levels but some risks are still unknowns and under evaluation (see blog from Center for Disease Control and Prevention).  The risk of dermal exposure is elevated for both exposure to isocyanates and TCPP and is a major concern when using SPF applications. Nitrile gloves as well as breathable coveralls such as Tyvek or PP provide construction workers with significant protection when used during spray-foam insulation applications. It is important that Nitrile gloves be at least 5 mil. thick to provide a better resistance to wear and tear.

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crash location3 people were injured in a car accident in New York early this morning. Around 1 AM this morning, a black sedan and a grey SUV  were driving South on Park Avenue.  They collided in front of a construction site on 85th street that occupied the right lane of Park Avenue. Speed may have been a factor. The collision was extremely violent and both cars were mangled. The driver of the SUV is in critical condition while the other driver and passenger of the sedan were also  seriously injured. The police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

The accident occurred on Park Ave South at the 85th Street intersection where the road is partially obstructed by the scaffolding of a construction site. According to CBS  News New York, it is the second accident that occurred near the construction site. Last month a construction worker was hit by a car at the same location.

picture of the crash location:courtesy of Google

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A construction worker suffered minor injuries after collapsing at a construction site in Manhattan yesterday morning. The man was in a hard to reach area  of a construction site located at 348 West 14th Street, downtown Manhattan. The accident occurred around 9:00 am. Because of concerns about the stability of the building, firefighters had to use a tower ladder to get access to the worker and to remove him from the location where he passed out. The worker was then transported to the hospital. So far, the exact causes of the accident are unknown. However above average temperatures may have been a factor. (read more in the NY Daily News)

Every summer in America, thousands of construction workers are becoming ill because of the heat. Some even die. Here are a few guidelines that employers should make sure to follow if they want to prevent their workers from getting ill when the temperature rises:

  • New and temporary workers should always be closely monitored when starting to work during warm weather as they are the most affected by heat illnesses. Heat illnesses often occur during the first 3 days of work in the heat. One third of the fatal accidents related to heat occur on the first day of work in the heat.
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construction site where the elevator accident occurredA construction worker was found dead in an elevator on a New York construction site on Sunday morning.  The man was identified as 53-year-old Stephen Simpson, a native of Jamaica who previously served in the army and was currently working for Patriot Electric. The last time Simpson was seen alive was last Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Simpson had just finished his shift at a construction site at 555 Ten, a 56-story Manhattan luxury condominium building located at West 41st Street and 10th Avenue. As he was about to leave the site with his co-workers he told them that he forgot some personal effects and had to go back inside to retrieve them.  That’s the last time he was seen alive.

A security guard found his body at 7:00 am on Sunday. His head was trapped between the elevator floor and the elevator door frame of the 5th floor.  Investigators believe that Simpson used the elevator and that while he was riding it, the building power was shut off by the crew leaving the site. Simpson got stuck inside the elevator. It is unclear why Simpson didn’t use his cell phone to call for help. Instead, he forced the elevator doors open. However as he was climbing out of the elevator, the cabin moved upward and crushed him against the door frame. Investigators don’t know yet if he died immediately as his body was only found the following morning.  His body is now at the City medical examiner’s office where they will determine the time and cause of the death.

Stephen Simpson was married to Crystal Simpson and they were supposed to celebrate their son’s birthday. He was supposed to take his son and his wife  to the store to buy a bicycle for his son. Stephen and Crystal were married for 10 years. His wife told the News “He loved our son to death and he’d get him anything, he’d do anything for him”.

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A construction worker suffered critical personal injury while working on the top of an office building in Manhattan last Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 pm. For  some reason that is still being investigated the construction worker was zapped by high voltage electricity. The man was working on the rooftop of a 29th floor landmarked office building located on Park Avenue near East 32nd Street when the accident occurred.  He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. ( Read more in the NY Daily News)

Last week another construction worker was seriously injured at the Brooklyn Navy Yard according to DNA. The accident occurred at a dry dock located at 63 Flushing Ave around 10:30 am last Thursday. The hard hat was transported to the hospital. He is now in stable condition.

The construction boom in New York City has led to a dramatic increase in construction accident injuries and deaths over the last few years, the majority of them occurring at construction sites hiring non union workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio is working on a proposal to increase training for all construction workers in an effort to decrease accidents on construction sites (see previous blog)

 

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construction accident locationIt’s a miracle nobody was injured in a construction accident that occurred yesterday around noon on 58th street near Columbus Circle. Construction workers were moving material in an exterior elevator when it got jammed on the 17th floor. A large and heavy metallic ramp that connected the elevator to the building fell busy 58th street, prompting pedestrians to run for cover. The elevator contained a crate packed with 2 tons of glass window panels.

After the metallic ramp gave way, the crate was partially in the elevator and partially dangling outside creating a major danger  for cars and pedestrians below. The street had to be closed for several hours until the FDNY could figure out how to safely remove the heavy load of glass from its unsafe location.  The construction site is located at 217 W57th Street. It is the site of the Central Park Tower a super tall building being developed by Extell. This project is expected to be the largest sellout ever in City history with 20 of the condos priced over 60 million per unit.

Read more in DNA Info

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diseases associated to nanoparticle exposureConstruction workers who are using spray or who are power sanding wood sealant are inhaling zinc nano particles that may have negative consequences on their health. To avoid long-term injuries and illnesses a recent study found that the use of a local exhaust ventilation reduces exposure to nano particles by 92%.  A local exhaust ventilation also reduces the exposure to dust by 80%.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.  The authors of the study wanted to understand if zinc oxide nano particles contained in a wood sealant were detrimental to construction workers health while spraying the sealant or when sanding it.  They conducted various tests during which a worker executed the tasks of spraying the sealant and sanding it in an environmentally controlled chamber. Various filters were installed to collect particles. Researchers also used instruments allowing them to count  real-time particle levels. They found that globally the level of nano particles was high for both activities and that a local exhaust ventilation was effective in reducing nano particles by 92%.

Researchers also wanted to know if many unbound nano particles of zinc oxide  were released during the same operation. They used electron microscopy to analyze the collected samples. They found that most nano-sized ZnO particles were contained within or on the surface of larger airborne particles. More studies are necessary to understand which level of nanoscale ZnO is detrimental to construction workers health.

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Our NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $6.25 million verdict in a construction accident that occurred in Manhattan.

The case involved a construction worker, who was injured while performing brick restoration work on an apartment building. On the day of the incident, the worker was ordered to climb on to a rope scaffold that was positioned on the fourth floor of the apartment building to obtain tools needed for the brick work. The worker was unaware that the scaffold was not properly secured. While the worker was walking on the scaffold, it shifted and caused the worker to fall 30-40 feet on to the concrete courtyard below.

The worker was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his left elbow and pelvis. While in the hospital, he underwent an irrigation and debridement of his left elbow, as well as an open reduction internal fixation of the elbow. While in the hospital, the injured worker developed an ileus, which is a disruption in the normal operation of the bowels. As a result of the ileus, the worker suffered severe abdominal distension that was managed with nasogastric and rectal tubes. After a week at Harlem Hospital, the injured worker was transferred to Bellevue Hospital for a surgery on his pelvis consisting of an open reduction internal fixation, as well as for further management of his ileus.

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Three construction workers were injured, two critically and one seriously after 1200 pounds of laminated beams fell on them at a construction site in Queens. The accident occurred wednesday afternoon at a site located on 28th Road near 31st Street in Astoria where workers were converting  a 2 story building into a 3 story one. As they were working inside, the roof collapsed  after a heavy load of  construction material had been previously placed on it. Beams and bags of cement fell from the top floor to the basement. 3 workers were pinned under the debris. One of the workers, a 37 year old man was seriously injured but he was able to free himself before the firefighters arrived. Another 40 year old worker was rescued from the debris in critical condition. The third worker, a 28 year old man, was trapped under thousands pounds of construction material. Firefighters were able to administer medication through an IV to keep the young man stable while they were frenetically digging through the debris to try to free him. Firefighters had to use a hydraulic jack to be able to rescue him. After an hour of intense work, they  finally were able to save him and to hoist him into the ambulance in critical condition. (see here a detailed description of the amazing job the FDNY did to save the workers)

Neighbors said the heavy construction material was previoulsy delivered  onto the roof by a crane. The New York City Department of Buildings is now investigating the accident.

On New York construction sites, heavy equipment is supposed to be delivered at ground level. For any heavy equipment delivery at higher levels, contractors are supposed to obtain proper permission. It was not clear yesterday if a proper authorization was obtain for the Astoria construction site previous to the crane delivery.