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Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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NYC construction workers safetyIn an effort to reduce the number of construction workers injured or killed in New York City, Mayor de Blasio introduced at the end of last year “Intro. 1447-C”, a bill requiring each construction worker to attend 40 hours minimum of safety training to be able to work at a New York construction site (see previous blog).

Therefore by March 1 2018, hard hats working on a NYC construction site will have to show that they attended at least 10 hours of safety training within the previous five years if they want to continue working. Workers can do so by attending an OSHA 10 class.  Workers can Google” OSHA 10 training NYC” to find many options available during the week as well as during the week-end.  During an OSHA 10 hours training course, workers will learn basic work place safety and how to reduce the risk of accidents. They will participate in interactive exercises and study real life cases. Subjects will include fall protection, personal protective equipment, electrocution and more.

By December 1st 2018, construction workers are required to complete OSHA 10 and 20 additional training hours specified by DOB or OSHA 30. Workers also have the option to attend a DOB-approved 100-hour training program.

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OSHA logoUnder the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, some employers in high risk sectors such as construction, manufacturing and building materials are required to report employees illnesses and injuries to OSHA. Until last year these employers reported these data manually in what was commonly called the “OSHA Log”.  The OSHA log commonly refers to:

  • the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300)
  • the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A)
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accident sceneA construction worker suffered two broken legs after he was struck by a drunk driver early Saturday morning in Staten Island, NYC. The driver, 28 year old Keith Hayes was driving his 2015 Nissan Altima on Midland Ave and made a right turn onto Hyland Boulevard. As he was turning he lost control of his car and hit several orange cones protecting a construction zone. He then struck a flag man barreled into the construction site and flipped his car into a ditch.  The flagman was part of a crew of construction workers who were repairing a water main. He was rushed to the hospital to be treated. The driver was tested for alcohol and breathalyzer showed 0.163, twice the legal limit. He was charged with drunk driving, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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deblasioToo many construction workers die or are getting injured on the job in New York City. A majority of fatal construction accidents occur at non unionized sites. Most of them can be prevented if workers observe basic safety rules. Unfortunately too often construction workers are not proprely trained about the dangers of working on construction sites. Many greedy contractors or developers hire cheap immigrant workers with little to no experience who get injured or even die in accidents because they haven’t been proprely trained.

To curb the recent increase of deaths on NYC construction sites,  Mayor de Blasio signed yesterday “Intro. 1447-C” a bill requiring each construction worker to attend 40 hours of safety training to be able to work at a New York construction site. “For the hard-hats in one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, this bill will help get them home to their families at night and keep the general public safe around construction sites. I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council for bringing this legislation into fruition and helping making our city even healthier, fairer and safer city for all.” said Mayor de Blasio in his press release.

The bill was supported by the construction workers unions but most of the contractors and the real estate industry opposed it. They argue that it would be expensive and that the timeline was impractical.  However, according to Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), a sponsor of the bill, the city will provide $5 million to help pay for the training for small companies and minorities.

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New York Forklift Accident Attorney Christopher DonadioOur Construction Accident Attorney Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $1.1 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in New Jersey.

The case involved a construction accident that occurred on April 15, 2015 on a construction site in Hackensack, New Jersey. On that date, the plaintiff,who was a worker on the job site, was struck by a large forklift, suffering injuries to his left leg and right ankle.

Due to the impact, the plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center. At the hospital, the plaintiff was diagnosed with fractures of his left leg and right ankle. As a result of the injuries, the plaintiff required a surgery to repair his fractured left leg, and required three surgeries on his right ankle.

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Hudson Yard had many construction accidents2 construction workers died and another one was seriously injured in New York last Thursday at 2 different locations.  The first fatal accident occurred around 9:15 in the morning. 43 year old Juan Chonillo, a veteran construction worker and a father of 5 was working on the 29th floor of the 1 Seaport Residences construction site when he lost his balance. He fatally fell on the top of the scaffold bridge installed above the sidewalk. Just before the accident Chonillo was raising a concrete framework to lay concrete on the floor. According to his cousin Angel Munoz, at the time of the accident Chonillo was trying “to free the crane from the building after a cable got stuck somehow”. Chonillo who was trained and certified. He was wearing his harness but it wasn’t attached to anything. Chonillo had 10 years experience in the New York construction industry including several construction sites in the Financial district. The day before the accident the DOB issued a partial  stop work order for the unsafe operation of a crane. It appeared that the crane had been installed without a permit. It is not exactly clear so far if the death of the worker is directly related to the unsafe installation of the crane. Prior to the accident the construction site was hit with 28 complaints including several failures  to safeguard workers and property and a failure to provide a concrete safety manager at the time of an inspection. Chonillo was employed by the contractor Pizzarotti IBC. The construction site of the luxury all-glass residential building is located at 161 Maiden Lane.

Later on during the same day, two other construction workers fell 36 feet from a bucket lift at a construction site located at 401 9th Ave. The buildiing is part of the Hudson Yards development. One of the workers died and the other one was seriously injured. He was rushed to the hospital. According to NBC New York, the two workers were wearing a safety harness but were not attached to the bucket. It is the second time that a worker fell to his death at this location. Last June, Roger Vail was surveying the 16th floor of the building when he stood on a wooden platform that gave way (see previous blog).  The site was temporarily shut down in June and then re-opened after a safety plan was submitted to the city. Read more in the NY Daily News

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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.