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 on the job in New York City between April 1st and May 31st. This is the highest number of  hard hat fatalities over a 2-month period since at least 2015. 2 fatal accidents occurred in Brooklyn, 1 in Manhattan, 1 in the Bronx and 1 in Queens. So far, since the beginning of the year, 7 workers died on NYC construction sites compared to respectively  1 and 8  for the same period of  2020 and 2019. (click on the graphs for full view)

Construction Accident Deaths May 2021 NYC
64 NYC construction workers suffered injuries in April and 38 in May. Between January 1st 2021 and May 31st a total of 223 workers were injured on the job in the city. It is more than during the same period of 2020, when 186 workers were injured, but less than during the same period of 2019 when 502 hard hats were injured.

Injuries on New York Construction sites May 21

Manhattan remains the borough with the highest number of construction accidents as well as the highest number of injuries and deaths related to these accidents

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsHard hats working at 322 construction sites in NYC were at risk of getting injured or dying in construction accidents because their jobsite was not safe.

These 322 sites including 113 in Brooklyn, 83 in Manhattan, 69 in Queens, 54 in the Bronx and 3 in Staten Island were issued a stop work order and fines by the NYC Department of Buildings after its inspectors conducted a massive safety sweep. (See previous blog).

Recent spike in NYC construction accident deaths

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job-made-boxes-can-lead-to-serious-injury-and-deathIn a recent bulletin, OSHA warns construction workers and other workers using forklifts about potential injuries and deaths caused by “job-made boxes”

What are “job-made boxes”?

Job made boxes are any makeshift attachments created by construction workers or workers in other industries such as boxes, baskets or platforms. They are often made of wood as well as metal and plastic. They look like a little balcony: a platform with 3 walls around it. Workers attach these boxes to forklifts to lift equipment, workers or material to various heights. Workers also use them to step on them when working at elevated levels.

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road work signRoad construction accidents have been increasing during the pandemic. According to a recent article in Construction Dive, 60% of contractors reported an increase in crashes in their work zone last year.

During the lockdown as construction work was deemed essential in many States, Department of Transportation officials thought that significantly less cars on the road would provide a good opportunity for them to execute some road work without blocking and disturbing too much traffic.  However, with less traffic on the road, speeding and other reckless driving behavior increased and contractors reported  more crashes in highway work zones all over the country during the lockdown.  In a PEW study that was released last year, many States recorded an increased in work zone crashes despite a decline in traffic in the US by 40% in April and 26% in May.

444 reckless drivers ticketed during Operation Hard Hat in NY State

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https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/wp-admin/post-new.php3 NYC construction workers died  and another one was critically injured in 3 separate construction accidents in New York City.

On May 19th a hard hat was killed and his colleague critically injured after an elevator in a charter school under construction fell from the top floor to the ground in the Bronx . The two workers were in the elevator transporting debris.

On May 22nd, a construction worker fell to his death at a construction site in Long Island City, Queens. 32 year old Diego Lliguicota fell down an elevator shaft from the sixth floor to the second one.

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsStruck by injuries are the most common non-fatal injuries sustained by construction workers.

Among the 79.7 k construction workers who were injured in 2019, 16.6K suffered struck by injuries and 4 K suffered struck against injuries. Struck by accidents are also among the top causes of construction workers fatalities. In 2019, out of a total of 1,102 workers fatalities, 80 construction workers died after being struck by a vehicle and 70 of them died after being struck by an object or equipment.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently analyzed data related to these types of injuries and published the result of the study in a recent data-bulletin. Researchers at CPWR found that there was a big difference on how fatal and non-fatal struck by injuries occur. Fatal struck by injuries mostly occur when a construction worker is struck by a vehicle while non fatal struck by injuries are mostly caused by handheld objects or equipment.

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Construction Safety Conference NYC 2021How to prevent injuries and deaths caused by construction accidents in New York City is the main subject of the yearly Build Safe, Live Safe Conference organized by the NYC Department of Buildings.

The conference is digital for the second consecutive year because of the ongoing Covid19 restrictions in regards to large gatherings in indoor spaces.  The event started this Monday and continues until Friday.

The Conference which takes place during the same week as National Construction Safety Week, and OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is free and covers a broad area of subjects related to safety and sustainability in the construction industry in New York City such as :

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Safety Stand down to prevent fall in construction 2021The annual Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction started Today and will last all week-long.

In 2019, among the 1,061 construction workers fatalities recorded in the US by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 401 of them were caused by falls.  Most of these accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures were in place. Many fall fatalities could be avoided by following these 5 basic rules:

  1. Always use fall protection if you are working at 6 feet or more
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Location-of-the-actual-tunnelsA group of New York contractors are asking US Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to waive the NY Scaffold Law on the Hudson River Project.

Fall is the number one cause of fatalities among construction workers in New York City and nationwide. Most of these fatalities are preventable and are the result of negligence. In New York,  the Scaffold Safety Law ensures that New York construction workers and their family  are being fully protected if they are injured or killed while working on scaffolds, ladders or other similar devices. If a contractor violates this law by not providing adequate safety equipment to his workers and if as a result, a worker dies or sustains injuries, the contractor will be liable for the accident and a lawsuit can be brought against him by the construction worker or by his family.

In the case of the Hudson Tunnel project, a group of contractors consisting of  the Minority & Women Contractors & Developers Association, the Associated General Contractors of New York State and the General Contractors Association of New York as well as the New York Sate Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials have asked  the US Transportation Secretary to  replace the New York Scaffold Safety Law with a comparative negligence standard. They argue that the New York Scaffold increases their insurance cost.

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construction workers working at height in NYCThe American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was created in 1918. Its goal was to standardize various manufacturing, engineering or safety processes. The first project focused on pipe thread sizes. In  1992, ANSI developed the  “ANSI/ASSE Z359.1 American National Standard” for personal fall arrest systems in non-construction occupations. This standard was revised and improved significantly since it was released and has become a worldwide reference while designing and testing the performance of products and techniques used by construction workers while working at heights.

This Afternoon  at 2:00 pm ET and ahead of the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, the Center for Construction Research and Training is hosting a free webinar with members of the ANSI Z359 Accredited Standards Committee. The webinar will be a Q&A panel during which participants will learn tips and techniques to use the ANSI/ASSE Z359 standards on construction sites and protect workers from fall. (click here to register for the event and send your questions to the panel).

While adhering to the ANSI/ASSE Z359 standards is voluntary,  those who do so are keeping up to date with the most recent findings related to protecting workers from falls. Very often regulators such as OSHA are referring to ANSI standards to develop regulations.