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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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5 construction workers died  and 240 were injured in New York City between June 1st and October 31st. Last year during the same period, 6 workers died and 275 were injured in NYC construction accidents.

After a slow down in March, April and May related to the Covid-19 lock down, the construction industry resumed work in the city. Out of the 5 fatalities, 3 occurred in Brooklyn and 2 in Manhattan. 3 of them were falls. Fall is the number one cause of fatalities on construction sites in New York and in the US.

  • On June 20, at a construction site located at 1154 39th Street, in Brooklyn, an unlicensed worker who was installing new junction boxes electrocuted himself  and succumbed to his injuries.
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construction NYCThankfully nobody was injured after a loose cable on a spinning crane hit a building under construction sending giant metal debris down the streets in Midtown Manhattan yesterday night around 7 PM and creating chaos.

The metal pieces fell from the 84th floor of  a high rise under construction at 111 West 57th Street. The spinning crane at the top of the building first  caused concerns that it could be loose or unstable but later on firefighters noticed that a cable hanging from the spinning boom was constantly hitting the building, destroying it and sending pieces of metal down the street near the intersection of 6th Avenue and 56th Street.

A crane crew was then sent up and the crane operator was able to get into the crane and secure the loose cable. The DOT issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard public and property construction operations.

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Construction Accident Injuries in New York City in May 2020To reduce construction accident injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 was signed in 2017. The law requires that hard hats working on most New York City construction sites obtain a SST card in a specific deadline. To obtain this card, construction workers must complete at least 40 hours of OSHA or DOB approved safety training while their supervisors are required to complete at least 62 hours of safety training. Because of the Covid-19 situation, the deadline to obtain the SSD card was extended to March 2021.

The NYC Department of Buildings announced that as of today 100,000 nyc construction workers completed their training and obtained their SSD card

The DOT believes that the safety training led to a reduction of more than 20% of work site injuries in New York City last year.  The DOB also announced that construction companies with more than 15 employees can now file an application to receive a one-time grant to help reduce the cost related to training.

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construction NYCBuilding in New York can be challenging and safety is not only about keeping construction workers safe but also about keeping New Yorkers safe, including the neighbourghs and the pedestrians to the future tenants. Every year the NYC Department of Buildings organizes a week long seminar during which construction professionals and experts present the last trend in regards to safe building and safe living.

The 2020 “Build Safe/Live Safe” is kicking off tomorrow  in a digital only format due to Covid-19 restrictions in regards to gathering of big groups in indoor spaces.

The Department of Buildings prepared a one week program during which participants can attend webinars presented by experts on topics ranging from industry trends and safe construction operations to legal developments in sustainability, and more.

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safety stand down constructionFalls in construction are the main cause of construction worker deaths and injuries. In the US, every year  around 200 workers die and 10,000 suffer personal injury after they fell on a construction site.

To prevent and reduce fall accidents, every year since 2012, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are joining forces annually for a one week national campaign asking construction workers and their supervisors all over the nation to conduct a stand down focusing on fall prevention.

During a stand down, workers pause work and  participate in discussions or activities related to fall prevention and safety policies

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construction workersTo prevent and reduce construction accidents injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 requires that most construction workers receive 40 hours of safety training and that their supervisor receive 62 hours of training.  Local Law 196 was passed in 2017 after construction accidents fatalities recorded by the DOB went from 3 in 2013 to 8 in 2014, 12 in 2015, 12 in 2016 and 12 again in 2017. The original deadline for workers to receive their 40 hours of training was September 1 2020 but because much of the “in-person training” was cancelled or postponed because of the covid-19 crisis, the Department of Buildings extended the deadline to March 1 2021. The classes can be taken in person or online.  Online classes are available in multiple languages.

Most construction workers and their supervisors must comply with Local law 196 to be able to work at their construction site

The only construction workers who are exempted from getting safety training are DCA-licensed Home Improvement Contractors and workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations as well as workers building a new 1, 2 or 3-family home. Workers who are not sure if their sites require safety training can consult the interactive site safety construction map.  Personal on these specific sites that do not require safety training are the site owners, the projects managers, the professional engineers, the architects, the developers, the delivery people, the construction managers, the flag persons, the general contractors, the people taking care of the concrete testing, the filing representatives, the security officers, the special inspectors, the service technicians and the consultants. All other construction workers at the sites including demolition workers, construction superintendents, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, forepersons, journey men, employees of DOB licensees or registrants must comply with Local Law 196.  Those who need to take classes can use the DOB”s map of approved course providers or go to the OSHA website to locate a course provider or take an online class.

 

 

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construction worker is a police officerHighway construction workers have one of of the highest rate of fatality among all categories of construction workers. Too often, they die in accidents caused by reckless drivers. In New York State,  from May to November, the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation  are joining forces to crack down on reckless drivers in highway construction zone areas. Through “Operation Hard Hat”, any highway construction workers could actually be a State trooper checking on your driving behavior near construction zones and communicating with other state troopers down the road to stop and ticket drivers who do not respect construction workers safety.

State troopers are sometimes taking the role of a flagman or could be seated in a truck checking your speed  or checking if you are using a cellphone

This year so far, according to a recent announcement by governor Cuomo, 37 operations have been conducted on New York State highways resulting in 432 speeding tickets, 112 seat-belts tickets, 192 cell phone tickets, 68 move over tickets, 2 failure to obey flagger tickets, 10 failure to obey traffic control device tickets, 1 DWI violation, 2 unsafe lane change tickets and 403 tickets for other violations. A total of  1,222 tickets were issued so far. Last year, the same campaign from May to November resulted in a total of 1,048 tickets.

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22 construction workers were injured in New York City during the month of May compared to 6 during the month of April and 51 during the same month a year earlier. As most New Yorkers were still required to stay home during the month of May,  more than 5,000 non essential construction sites were authorized to re-open at the end of April on the condition that they were following the Covid-19 safety protocol for the industry such as disinfecting tools, social distancing and wearing masks. The gradual opening of New York City construction sites lead to a small increased in the number of hard hats injured on the job in NYC. There were no deaths recorded during the month of May. So far since the beginning of 2020 only one worker died on a New York construction site in February. Manhattan had the highest number of injuries, followed by Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

Construction Accident Injuries in New York City in May 2020
Most injuries were minors and classified under “others” and the few others were related to falls. Fall is the most common cause of accident injuries and deaths in the construction industry not only in New York City but also in the US.

NYC construction accident injuries by categories May 2020
12 construction workers were injured on Manhattan construction sites. Some injuries were minors. A worker cut his finger  with a box cutter, another one punctured his foot after walking on a nail.

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excavation work in NYC streetsNew York construction site owners and contractors are responsible for their employees safety. While before the coronavirus crisis this meant that they had to take adequate safety measures to protect construction workers from accident injuries and deaths, now contractors are also responsible for applying the new covid-19 protocole. In New York where aggressive measures have been deployed by the Governor to reduce the spread of the disease, construction site owners and contractors have to follow a strict protocol to keep everybody safe.

The NYC Department of Buildings now has dedicated inspectors who are visiting  construction sites to make sure they are compliant

Since July 8th, any NYC construction site that doesn’t respect the Covid-19 protocol can be penalized with violations fines and stop work orders if necessary. During the first five days, inspectors issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders to construction sites all over the city. During the previous months the inspectors had been reaching out to violators and provided them with guidance and material related to the application of the covid-19 protocol for construction sites in New York City.

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Building that collapsed in ManhattanAnother building partially collapsed in Manhattan yesterday, The building that hosts a mix of residences and commercial spaces is located at 211 East 34th Street. It was completely empty and was undergoing construction work. Around 11:30 am yesterday morning a first part of the wall collapsed followed an hour later by another collapse.

Nobody was injured but the street was closed by the police and the residents of an adjacent  building were evacuated for safety.

The collapsed occurred in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan a few blocks away from another deadly construction accident that occurred a few hours later and during which a piece of parapet detached from the roof and landed on a hanging scaffolding, killing one construction worker and injuring 3 others.