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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Radio-AntennasConstruction workers exposed to radio-frequency (RF) radiation may suffer personal injury such as blindness and sterility. Construction workers who are wearing pacemakers and other medical devices should also be aware that electromagnetic signals could cause their devices to malfunction. Additionally  recent research has found it possible that such radiation may also be carcinogenic to humans. The long term effects of exposures to radio-frequency radiation is still being studied.  Roofers or construction workers who are performing tasks on sides of buildings or near news gathering trucks are the most at risk of exposure to hazardous level of RF radiation.

In recent years the proliferation of cellular antennas and other devices transmitting electromagnetic signals has lead to health concerns about the danger of potentially harmful exposure to radio frequency signals. In 2014, the National Roofing Contractors Association in association with the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers  worked with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) to reduce the illnesses and injuries in the roofing industry. They created together the Roofing r2p Partnership. This new partnership soon raised concern about the emerging hazard caused by the proliferation of RF antennas and the potential risks faced by construction workers in the roofing industry. As a result, a program was developed by the Roofing r2p Partnership* and the multi-trade labor-management RF Radiation Work Group* to raise awareness about the potential risks of RF radiation.

You can learn more about the new Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry in a free webinar that will be hosted by the CPWR on Tuesday April 25th at 2;00 pm ET. During this 45 minutes webinar participants will learn more about the hazard of RF radiation exposure and how workers can be trained to prevent such exposures using the newly developed Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry. Click here to register for this webinar. 

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Building-Blocks-NYC_logo-1Too many construction workers die in New York City because they are not proprely trained for the job. Yesterday the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and District Council 9, International Union of Painter and Allied Trades (DC9 New York) announced that they were joining forces by creating Building Blocks NYC, a new coalition to advocate for the passage of Intro 1447 by the New York City Council. Intro 1447 is a legislation that would increase training for all construction workers in New York City, union and non-union alike.

Over the last 2 years 33 construction workers died on the job in New York City. The most recent fatal construction accident in the city occurred last week in Time Square, New York. 59 year old Jose Cruz fell 18 feet to his death. Cruz fell from an I-Beam. At the time of the accident, Cruz was wearing a safety harness but it wasn’t tied it off. The accident was completely preventable. (see previous blog)

Cruz was working for Streamline USA, a non unionized contractor. Streamline has a history of safety violations on its construction sites and was fined twice by OSHA over the last year. The majority of fatal NYC construction accidents occurred on non-unionized construction sites. Building Block NYC believes that many of these fatal accidents may have been prevented if employees were proprely trained. Unlike unionized contractors who require their employees to sit down in classrooms and participate in rigorous training programs, many non unionized contractors neglect to proprely train their employees.

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A construction worker was fatally struck by a bulldozer in Red Hook, NY last week. Susan M. Coons of Elizaville in Columbia County was working on a field leveling project for Jeff Decker & Son with another construction worker. 45 year old Kenneth Bendix was operating the 18-ton bulldozer. He struck her as he was moving the machine to make a minor adjustment to the blade.

The woman was transported to the hospital but she didn’t survive.

Read more in the Poughkeepsie Journal  

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Location of the fatal New York Construction AccidentA man died in a construction accident in New York yesterday morning. According to Rick Chandler, New York City Building Commissioner, the death was completely preventable.

The fatal fall occurred around 11:00 am yesterday on a construction site located at 1604 Broadway, near West 49th Street in Time Square, New York.

59 year old Jose Cruz, a native of The Dominican Republic living in Sunset Park, fell 18 feet to his death from an I-beam near the second floor. The accident occurred as he was helping remove part of a steel deck from a slab. Despite working at heights he wasn’t wearing proper fall protection equipment.

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  1. construction-fatality-mapThe “Fatality Mapping Project” just released its 2016 “Construction Fatality Maps“. The release consists of 2 maps. The first map shows all fatalities on construction sites in the US. The second map only shows fatal falls on construction sites.  These maps are interactive. Each pin represents a construction worker who died on the job in 2016. A click on the pin will provide the reader with more information about the accident. It also links to additional news coverage and OSHA records related to the fatal accident.

The maps are based on data from media sources and OSHA investigations. Not all but a significant amount of all fatal construction accidents in the US are reported on the map.  They are a reminder of the dangers and risks encountered everyday by construction workers and of the need for improved safety in this industry.

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NYCOSH logo236 workers, many of them construction workers died on the job in New York in 2015, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As recent Congressional actions have been pushing for the deregulation of workers safety rules, these disturbing statistics may even get worse.

In an effort to fight back, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) recently announced that it has joined a national campaign for workplace safety. Entitled “Protecting Workers’Lives & Limbs” the campaign launched by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has already rallied 92 groups across the country.

The goals of the campaign are to make sure that workers health and safety stay a priority and to insure that all workers are protected including illegal immigrant workers. The campaign will work on eliminating disparities, reduce the use of toxic chemicals at work, make sure workers have access to quality medical treatments and fair wage replacement benefits. It will also focus on getting a better count of injuries and illnesses on the workplace as many workers still fear retaliation from employers if they report their injuries.  The complete campaign agenda can be downloaded here.

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Falls_Are_Leading_Cause_of_Death_Map_InfographicEvery year more than 200 construction workers die and around 10,000 are seriously injured after falling on the job in the US. Falls are the number one cause of death in construction accidents. Most of them are preventable. Planning ahead, using proper equipment and being trained for the job are key to prevent falls from scaffolds, roofs or ladders.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Construction Sector Council are joining forces to organize the fourth National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

This awareness campaign will take place all over the Country from May 8th to May 12th. Construction companies as well as contractors and their employees are invited to halt regular activities and organize a workshop to develop awareness on safety measures to prevent falls on construction sites. 

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OSHA logoWorkers especially construction workers may have a higher risk of getting injured on the job if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decides to definitely stop releasing enforcement news.  According to a recent article in Fair Warning, OSHA hasn’t published any enforcement press releases since Inauguration Day.

Because OSHA doesn’t have enough inspectors to cover all US workplaces, news releases related to penalties and enforcement of workplace safety are a powerful tool to prevent employers from committing safety violations. Usually the agency releases between 30 and 50 of  these type of announcements every month.  It has been a month and half since Trump was installed as the American President and not one single enforcement news has been released by OSHA. The same happened to the Wage and Hour division of the Labor Department which was previously releasing news on back wages paid to employees. Fair Warning contacted both OSHA and “Wage and Hour” to ask them about this six weeks period of silence but none of them replied.  Despite news releases being halted officials at the Labor Department have confirmed that OSHA inspections are still going on. An explanation for this silence may be the still ongoing and longer than usual transition at the Top of  the Labor Department. However looking at the past, never has such an interruption of news releases occurred during a change of presidency at the White House.

The policy of the Trump administration to fail to release enforcement news regarding unsafe work conditions is clear evidence that the Trump administration is not following through on campaign promises to protect the average middle class worker. Additional efforts to scale back or to delay workplace regulations are under way.  For example two days ago,  the Labor Department just proposed to delay a regulation aimed at protecting construction workers from beryllium, a toxic metal. Things are only going to get worse as evidenced by the proposed cuts for the EPA.

 

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construction accident locationScaffolding from a NYC construction site collapsed on  a woman yesterday.  The accident occurred yesterday around 1:00 pm while the heavy winds were hitting the city. The 39 year old mother walked in front of the Bedford Housing Development project located at 3160 Webster Ave in the Bronx while workers were removing a sidewalk bridge.  Her 3-year-old and 9-month-old sons were with her as well. As they were walking, the scaffolding collapsed and fell on the head of the victim.The mother was bleeding from the head and was transported to the hospital.  The two children weren’t injured. After the accident the Department of Building issued a stop work order while inspectors were investigating the exact cause of the accident.  Last August the same construction site was issued a violation for installing heating and AC equipment without a permit.

In New York City, pedestrians are often victims of construction accidents. In July last year a man suffered serious injury after being hit by a falling piece of plywood. In February David Wichs was killed by a crane that collapsed in  the South of Manhattan. Our firm represents his wife Rebecca.

Picture above: location of the construction accident, courtesy of Google Map

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CPWR logoFalls are the number one cause of death among construction workers. Most of them are preventable. Every year, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are joining forces to launch a national construction fall prevention campaign. They are now getting ready for the 2017 Safety Stand-Down. If you want  to learn more about this campaign and hear about the results of the previous fall prevention campaigns you are welcome to join a free webinar. During this webinar, leaders from the CPWR, NIOSH and OSHA will review the past campaigns and present their plans for 2017. The webinar will be held Wednesday March 1st at 2:00 pm. If you would like to register please click here.