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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Construction_WorkersMuskuloskeletal Disorders or MSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect many construction workers. Globally MSDs are the largest category of workplace injuries and account for 30% of all US worker’s compensation costs. MSDs affect all the parts of the body that are responsible for movements such as the muscles, the tendons, the nerves, the ligaments, the disks or the blood vessels. They are the result of sudden or repetitive motions, forces or awkward positions.

Due to the nature of their activity, construction workers are among the workers who are the most at risk of suffering from MSDs with the most common cause being overexertion from activities such as pushing, pulling, holding carrying and catching as well as lifting and lowering. In its quarterly report the Center for Construction Research and Training provides an in-depth analysis of  MSDs in the American construction industry.

In 2017, 19,690 WMSDs injuries resulted in days away from  work in the construction industry with the most common injuries being sprains, strains and tears. Back injuries were the most predominant, followed by lower and upper extremities. Age is a main factor in muskuloskeletal disorders and the older a construction worker is the higher the risk is that he might suffer from WMSDs resulting in days away from work.

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One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.June 2019 fatalities on NYC construction sites

A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.

Manhattan Construction worker fatalities June 2019
One hard hat died in Brooklyn during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 1, 1, 1 and 2 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

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A hard hat died and five others were injured after a building under construction partially collapsed in the Bronx. 48 year old Segundo Huerta, a father of five, was working on a construction site located at 92 East 208 Street in the Bronx, on Monday around noon, when the third floor of the building started to crumble and falling on workers below. Segundo and his colleagues were hit and buried in concrete and debris.  When  the firefighters arrived, Segundo was trapped and by the time they were able to recover him he had succumbed to fatal injuries.

The other construction workers injured  were Segundo’s family members or good friends. His 21 year old nephew Manuel Giovanni Huerta suffered a serious spine injury. His cousin Santiago Mayancela suffered a torn ear and a leg injury. Luis Romero, the brother of Segundo’s sister in law suffered a serious head injury. Two friends from the family Luis Antonmio Quizhpi and a man identified as Jose were also injured. The group of workers had been working together on construction  sites for more than 12 years. Segundo, originally from Ecuator, had been living in the US for 19 years. The family and relatives that gathered at the scene of the accident were heart broken.

OVERLOADED FLOOR CAVED IN

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craneAfter two successive crane accidents in New York including one fatal, the company United Crane and Rigging was temporary barred from continuing work at 22 construction sites in the city. The NYC DOB will allow the company to restart work only after it replaces some of the employees involved in the recent accidents that occurred on July 30 in the East Village and in April in Soho. On July 30, the company had a crane working at a site located at 749 FDR Drive. The operator of the crane was lifting steel beans when the boom of the crane bent and partially collapsed. The operator then lost control of the load which struck the building before falling on the ground. Thankfully nobody was injured but investigators found that the load lifted by the crane weighted 4,400 pounds while the maximum lifting capacity was 3,700 pounds. Back in April,  34 year old Gregory Echevarria, a war hero who served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan died and two other construction workers were injured after a counterweight fell and crushed him during a crane installation by the same operator (see previous blog).

To be able to restart work on its 22 construction sites, United Crane and Rigging has to provide proof to the NYC Department of Buildings that the engineer of record, master rigger, lift director, assembly and disassembly and hoisting machine operators have all been replaced with new staff. Additionally the company also has to hire an independent monitor who will report to the DOB on United Crane and Rigging’s safety compliance.The negligent crane company was also hit with 5 DOB violations for:

  1. inadequate safety measures on site
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The month of April was a bad month for the construction industry in New York: 3 hard hats died in NYC construction accidents and almost 100 were injured. 2 workers died in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

On April 8, 51-year-old Nelson Salinas was repairing the facade on a building located  at 311 E. 50th Street near Second Ave on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He was standing on a suspended scaffold at the 7th floor of the 14 story building when a piece of coping stone that was under one of the C-Hooks fell onto him. Salinas was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

Two days later a young worker fell to his death in Brooklyn. 23-year-old Erik Mendoza, a Mexican immigrant, was replacing bricks under the water tower of a 13 story building located on Pierrepont Street. Mendoza had just been hired to work for the building a week before the fatal accident occurred. He didn’t receive any site safety orientation for working on the penthouse roof, no guard-rail or fall protection were installed and the young man wasn’t provided with fall protection equipment. The owner of the building was issued a DOB violation and a Full Stop Work Order was issued.

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Since 2011 the number of construction workers who died in a fall accident increased by 45% according to the recent report “Trends of Fall Injuries and Prevention in the Construction Industry” released by the The Center for Construction Research and Training.

The report focuses mostly on data from 2011 to 2017 and found that despite a slow down in construction accident fatalities between 2016 and 2017, the number of deaths related to fall accidents continued to rise. 389 construction workers fell to their death in 2017 compared to 388 in 2016.

construction deaths and fall deaths 2003 to 2017
Among the 389 fall fatalities, 367 were to a lower level. Falls from roofs are the most common and account for approximately one third of the fall fatalities. Falls from ladders are the second most common causes of fall fatalities and account for approximately a quarter of them.  All in all falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds account for more than 70% of all falls to a lower level.

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Construction Accident Lawyers Gair and DonadioOur NYC construction accident attorneys Anthony H. Gair and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $4.9 million settlement for a construction worker injured in Brooklyn.

The case involved a worker who was injured while performing renovation work on a multi-family home. On the day of the incident, the worker was instructed by his foreman to remove aluminum siding from the multi-family home. In order to perform the work, the worker was required to stand on an eight foot makeshift scaffold that had been constructed with an A-frame ladder, a pump scaffold pole and a scaffold platform. The worker was unaware that the scaffold platform had not been properly secured. While the worker was performing his work on the scaffold, the unsecured scaffold platform slipped off of the pole that was supporting it, causing the worker to fall down to the ground eight feet below.

The worker was rushed to Lutheran Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his spine and severe damage to his spinal cord. He was forced to undergo several surgeries as a result of his injuries.

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Trench and excavation accident prevention infographicConstruction workers who are working in trenching and excavation are exposed to extremely dangerous hazards resulting most of the time from collapse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 130 hard hats died in trenching and excavation accidents between 2011 and 2016.

Half of these fatalities occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Among the 130 dead workers, 104 were working for the private construction industry and among them 40 died at industrial places and premises, 39 died at private residence sites and 21 died at streets or highways construction sites.

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New York Construction workersConstruction workers fatalities and injuries are on the rise in New York City. The boom in construction has lead to a shortage in experienced construction workers and as a result many contractors have been hiring workers with less or little experience without providing them proper safety training.  To reduce the number of injuries and deaths on NYC construction sites and make sure every construction worker is proprely trained about safety, the New York City Council introduced  new legislation “NYC Local Law 196”  that increases the minimum number of training hours for a construction worker to 59 hours.

What does NYC Local Law 196 mean for construction workers and contractors?

NYC Local Law 196 is being implemented in 3 phases

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location of the dangerous siteA hard hat suffered life-threatening personal injury after falling in a shaft at a NYC construction site. The worker whose identity wasn’t released was working at a site located at 19 Richardson Street in Brooklyn. He fell head first into a concrete wall and as a result suffered major head trauma.

The worker was installing masonry around the shaft of an unfinished stairwell. He was trying to pry loose a wood plank with a crowbar when the accident occurred.He fell nine feet in the shaft of the yet-to-be-installed stairway and landed on his head in the basement. He was rushed to the hospital where he is listed in critical condition. The worker wasn’t wearing any fall protection equipment and no guardrails were installed around the shaft way.

The NYC Department of Buildings issued a Stop Worker Order and the contractor, AVO Construction LLC was slapped with several violations. The construction site has a history of violations and had a stop order issued last October as well.