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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church fails to maintain buildingA man scavenging for construction material in a half demolished building was seriously injured after he fell through the floor. The accident occurred at a dilapidated Brooklyn building located at the intersection of Rutland Road and Brooklyn Ave in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.  The floor gave way under the weight of the 33 year old man and he got trapped. It took an hour for the paramedics and the firefighters to shore up the basement to take him out. The man was then rushed to the hospital where he was listed in serious condition.

Before being bought by the church next door, the building was a lounge. The church received a violation from the city Environmental Control Board for failure to maintain the building  after it partially collapsed. Concerned neighbors told the DOB at the end of January that the structure “was leaning”. The owner was supposed to raze the entire building but only half of it was demolished.

After the accident the DOB issued 3 violations to the church:

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entrance of the German Masonic homeA hard hat was in critical condition after he was hit by debris at a NY construction site. 49 year old Arian Hila was working on the renovation of the Germanic Masonic Home at 120 Western Highway in Tappan, NY. On Friday afternoon one of the debris chutes became clogged with construction material. Arian and another construction worker went inside the dumpster and tried to clean the chute from there. As they were trying to unclog it, the clogged chute detached and fell onto Arian. He was crushed by the debris and could hardly breath. Police officers, firefighters and paramedics all jumped into the dumpster and removed the debris to free him. He could barely breath. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Adrian Hila is an idenpendant contractor employed by Atria Consulting 3. The property is owned by Noble Ninth Inc. The renovation of the building started in 2016. The accident is being investigated.

Read more in the Lohud

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An 8 year old girl suffered head injury after being hit by debris falling off a NYC construction site.

Last Friday morning, Tatiana Devia was in the courtyard of her family’s apartment building on 35th Avenue near 83rd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, when a wooden plank fell on her head. She was rushed to the hospital to be treated for a mild concussion and a large wound to her head. 3 staples were needed to close the wound. The wood fell from a construction site located at the fourth floor of the building were workers where renovating an apartment. Workers were moving planks from the construction site to the ground by letting them down with a rope from the fire escape. One of the wood pieces slipped from the rope and hit the girl. Construction workers were working without having proprely safeguard the area. The man who was lowering the board ran away and was nowhere to be found.

Investigators from the Department of Buildings issued a full stop work order and the contractor was hit with 3 violations including failure to safeguard a construction site. The family and other witnesses who live in the building said that the little girl could have been killed. Her brother was so traumatized that he was scared to return home.

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Construction worker helpin another one to set up safety harness
In New York almost half of the fatal accidents on construction sites are caused by falls. Most falls are preventable. OSHA is requiring that any worker who is working at a height of 6 feet or more from the ground and who is near an unprotected side or edge be protected with either or both of the following safety equipment:

  1. Fall restraint systems such as guardrails or safety nets
  2. Personal fall arrest system (PFAS) that includes full body harness, shock-absorbing lanyard vertical lifeline and a solid anchorage point.
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CPWR at a glanceProtecting construction workers from being injured or dying in accidents is the mission of the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). CPWR not only publishes in-depth research in the field of construction safety and health but also provides services and training programs for construction workers.

The researchers at CPWR are working in close collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)  on safety and health issues affecting construction workers. Based on research results, CPWR develops new interventions to protect construction workers.  CPWR is working with tool and equipment manufacturers, instructors and insurance companies to reach out to contractors and workers. They believe in r2p: research to practice and p2r: practice to research.

Last year the institution offered 6,133 courses and trained 1,177 trainers who themselves trained 78,702 workers. CPWR firmly believes that improving safety culture and climate leads to a reduction of injury and illnesses.

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Fall Protection SystemThe Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) looked over 33 years of data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program and found out that falls were responsible for 42% of hard hat deaths. The CPWR searchers also found that  54% of the workers who died after falling did not have access to a personal fall arrest system and 23% had access to it but did not use it.  The study also found that roofers, siding and sheet metal contractors were those who most often were not provided with a personal fall arrest system. These numbers  clearly show the importance  of  holding contractors accountable for the safety of their employees when they work at high elevation.

NY STATE SCAFFOLD LAW MUST BE KEPT

In New York, the Scaffold Safety Law (Section 240(1) of the NYS Labor Law)  holds an owner and general contractor responsible for the death or the injuries of a worker if the worker wasn’t provided with the necessary safety equipment when working at height. Big construction companies and insurance companies have been trying to kill this law for years. However the Scaffold Law remains the most effective manner to make sure construction workers are protected from falls. This is particularly important in New York City where a lot of hard hats are participating in the construction of high rises buildings.

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Construction fatality rate NYC v NY StateOver the last five years, the fatal occupational injury rate in NY State increased by 29% while it decreased by 21.3% in New York City. Up until 2014 it was more dangerous to be a construction worker in the city than to be a construction worker somewhere else in New York State. Things have changed since 2015 when the construction fatality rate for New York State reached 10 fatalities per 100,000 workers while the same rate was 9.4 in New York City. The following year the New York State fatality rate for construction workers jumped to 14.2 while the city fatality rate declined to 8.9.

According to “Deadly Skyline” the annual report released by the  New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), these numbers are painting a sad reality for New York State. While in New York City, the Department of Buildings has been drastically increasing its resources and budget over the last few years to face the construction boom, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to be systematically underfunded and can’t keep up with the increase in new construction projects in the State.

40 HOURS SAFETY TRAINING REQUIRED FOR ALL NYC CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

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construction workerThe industry hates to talk about it but in the recent year many construction workers have been dying not from accidents but from opioid abuse. According to a previous study, workers in the construction industry are the second most susceptible workers to use opioids after workers in the food industry. The study estimates that more than 15% of  construction workers are using illicit drugs. Because of the nature of the job, construction workers are more prone to serious injuries than workers in other industries. Statistics indicate that the cost of opioid use is greater in construction than in any other industry. When comparing the total cost of prescription by industry, opioids account for 20% for the construction industry compared to an average 10% for the average of all other industries.

Opioids are used to reduce pain but they can cause addiction and lead to abuse

A recent article in Cleveland.com looked at deaths statistics and found that Ohio construction workers were seven time more likely to die from an opioid overdose than workers in other industries.  Workers addicted to opioids not only can cause injury to themselves but they also put at risk their coworkers or even passersby.  They also have a negative impact on the productivity and the profitability of their employers.

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electric linemenConstruction is the industry that has the highest electrocution deaths among all industries. OSHA identifies electrocution as one of the leading causes of fatality among construction workers. In its latest Quarterly Data Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is taking a close look at recent electrocution data and proposes solutions to prevent them.

Since 2012 the construction industry rose back from the 2008 recession and so did the number of fatal construction accidents. From 2011 to 2015 fatal construction accidents increased by 26% from 781 to 985 fatalities. During the same period, electrocution fatalities rose by 17% from 70 to 82 fatalities. In average during this period electrocution deaths represented 9% of all construction accident deaths.

Electrocution deaths in the construction industry have been declining since 2003. From 134 in 2003 they recorded their lowest in 2012 with 66 deaths and went back up to 82 in 2015. The rate per 100,000 workers also went down from 1.3 in 2003 to 0.8 in 2015.

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A 33 year old construction worker died after falling in an elevator shaft in New York. The accident occurred on 24th Street near Park Ave in Gramercy Park. Ju Cong Wu wasn’t attached to the safety line when he felt 100 feet down an elevator shaft. The man was working for U-Tek elevator and was part of a team that was installing an elevator car in a 12-story hotel project. Workers told the NY daily News that the site was non-union and that they didn’t know what caused the accident. The New York City Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order and launched an investigation. A total of 17 complaints about the site were filed last year. Among them there were two safety complaints in August, another complaint in April mentioned workers were not wearing safety equipment. In March another complaint was filed about insecure debris flying off the building. Ju Cong Wu is the first construction worker to die in New York City this year. Last year 12 workers died on construction sites in the city.

The same day a man who was renovating window fell to his death on Tuesday around 2:55 pm. 26 year old John Davie was doing some construction work with his father and another man in an apartment located on the sixth floor of a building on Saunders Street near 62nd Drive in Rego Park, Queens. John was working on the renovation of the window when he fell out of it. His father could only watch in horror and his mother collapsed outside of the building 10 minutes later after her son succumbed to his injuries.