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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Mattern-hudson-yards-3A construction worker died in New York on Monday. The accident happened at  Hudson Yards, a gigantic construction site in Manhattan. It is not the first time that a construction worker fell to his death on this site. Another deadly fall occurred at Hudson Yards in August 2015.

Around 6:40 pm on Monday evening, 62-year-old Roger Vail of Montgomery was doing a survey on the 16th floor of  the 400 W. 33rd St building when a wooden platform he was standing on gave way.  The man fell 10 stories and landed on the 6th floor. He died at the scene of the accident. Vail was hired by the company 50 States engineering which itself had been hired by Tishman Construction. Sadly, he was working on the installation of a fall prevention system.

Fortunately, in New York a construction worker is mot limited to Workers compensation. Pursuant To Section 240(1) of The New York State Labor law (the Scaffold Law) the next of kin of the worker are entitled to bring what is known as a Third Party action against Tishman and the owner of the construction site. At least they will be able to receive  compensation for this tragedy.

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location opf the construction accident at 688 Broadway3 construction workers were injured after a steel beam fell 12 stories on a Manhattan construction site last week. The 3 workers were working on a high-end condo development at 688 Broadway in Noho (see picture). The  condo is also marketed as “1 Great Jones Alley”. The 3 workers were hoisting a beam when it suddenly fell. The beam first hit the sidewalk shed and then fell to the ground where the workers were located.  One of them was hit in the head by the beam and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The two others suffered minor injuries.  The NYC Department of Buildings put a stop work order on the property and issued five violations including failure to safeguard the site. The developer of the site is Madison Realty Capital.

Read more in DNA Info
Picture: courtesy of Google Map

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A worker died and another one was injured in a construction accident in Long Island, NY, last Wednesday. Edward Sinnott, an employee from the construction company Antonio and Sons, was buried to death in 15 feet of dirt. The accident occurred as the 59 year old man was standing on the top of the hole, directing the digging of a new cesspool system for a private home on Beech Place, in Hutington, NY. All of a sudden around 1pm, the cesspool collapsed, submerging Sinnott alive. Another construction worker who was standing next to him was able to survive by grabbing the bucket used to dig in the area. Crews used all types of equipment to try to find the construction worker quickly but his body was recovered  6 hours later. OSHA is now investigating the accident. The house was also reported unstable and unsafe. Read more in the Gothamist Our Partner Howard Hershenhorn recovered $3,500,000 in Suffolk County for the family of a man killed when the cesspool at his home collapsed.

 

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OSHA logoThe announcement of safety actions against employers who recklessly put their employees (particularly construction workers) at risk of deadly or dangerous accidents is one of the tools used by OSHSA to prevent workers from being injured on the job. Last year more than one hundred of theses announcements were made by OSHA over the months of February and March. This year only 4 of them were released by OSHA since Trump took over.

The threat of bad publicity has proven to be a good tool to fight safety and health hazards on the job. Now that the Trump administration has been slacking on announcements of major safety actions some Senators are worrying that  OSHA is unable to do its job properly. In a letter to the Department of Labor, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Patty Murray, Al Franken, Robert Casey Jr., Christopher Murphy and Bernard Sanders are expressing their concerns about OSHA’s recent behaviour. The six Senators are asking the Department of Labor to conduct a review in regards to what seems to be a change of policy at OSHA in regards to the announcement of major safety penalties against employers. The Senators also asked the Department of Labor why OSHA recently postponed the planned implementation of a new safety regulation protecting workers exposed to silica and beryllium which have proven to cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.

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Fernando Vanegaz died in a NYC construction accident18 year old Fernando Vanegaz died in a construction accident in Brooklyn, NYC, in September 2015. Two of his colleagues were also seriously injured in the accident. The construction workers were hired by  Michael Weiss an unlicensed contractor who was running an illegal construction site. Michael Weiss asked the workers to dig in an area where the NYC DOB had ordered not to excavate. The workers didn’t have much experience in excavating. When they asked for back up, the contractor ignored them. He also refused to provide any underpinning, shoring or bracing  after workers noticed a crack in a wall. Several times the workers expressed their concern about the crack in the wall, fearing for their lives. The contractor continued to ignore them. Then the tragedy happened, the wall collapsed, killing the young Fernando Vanegaz and seriously injuring two other of his co-workers. Both of them had to go through multiple surgeries for injuries to their spine, skull and facial bones.  The reckless contractor is now facing up to 15 year in prison.

Read more in the New York Times

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NYC Construction Accident Attorneys Gair Rubinowitz DonadioOur NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz, Anthony H. Gair and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $5.85 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in Queens.

The case involved a construction worker who was injured while performing asbestos removal work on a building rooftop in Queens, NYC. He fell 15-20 feet into the building when the roof collapsed in the area where he was working.

He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his spine. While in the hospital, he underwent a percutaneous fusion from the T10 vertebrae to the L2 vertebrae. He remained in the hospital for three and a half weeks after the accident. Following his discharge, he underwent several months of physical therapy and also received epidural steroid injections in his lower back.

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Inadequate, non existent or defective equipment are putting workers at risk of fall or other dangerous construction accidents. Today as part of the second day of the “Safety Stand Down to prevent fatal falls in the construction industry”, employers are invited to check with their employees if they are using the proper equipment for each job and if this equipment is in good working order.

OSHA requires the 3 following fall protection equipment for all construction sites:

  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) is the most crucial equipment to prevent falls. Anyone working at height including lower height should be using one. The PFAS consists of a fall arrest anchor, a shock absorbing lanyard or retractable lifeline and a full body harness. When used proprely this system can save the life of a worker should he fall. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that all employees working at heights of 6 feet or more are provided with this equipment and are using it.
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Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industryThe Fourth National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction kicked off Yesterday and will take place everyday this week in New York and all over the country. Employers in the construction industry are invited by OSHA, NIOSH and NORA to take a break and conduct a discussion or a workshop on fall prevention with their workers.

52 workers fatally fell on the job in New York during the recent construction boom. (see previous blog). Fall are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. They account for 37% of all deaths on construction sites. More than half of these fatal falls occurred in small companies that have 10 employees or less. Construction workers aged 45 to 54 years old are the most at risk of dying in a fall.

Last year in the US, 350 hard hats suffered a fatal fall. 1 out of 3 fefalling from ladders preventionll from 15 feet or less and 1 out of 4 fell from a ladder.  Construction workers may have a false sense of security when using a ladder because it is “not that high” but if they are not using them safely they can get killed. Falls from ladders can be prevented by following safe work practices described below.

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Since 2011, 52 construction workers fell to their death in New York City. In its recently published First Quarter Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is highlighting how the surge in work permits over the last few years is correlated to the high number of fatal falls especially in Manhattan.

Fatal falls in NYC and residential permits issued over the last 6 years
New York City is not the only location affected by a rise in fall fatalities. All over the U.S. as the economy picked up, more construction workers lost their lives on the job. According to recent statistics, 985 construction workers died in 2015. Among them 367 fell to their death.

Ahead of  the 4th Annual National Stand-Down to prevent falls in the construction industry, the CPWR decided to focus its 2017 first quarter report solely on fatal and non fatal falls in the construction industry. The report illustrates how economic ups and downs since the beginning of 2000 affected employment in the construction industry.  It points out the higher volatility in employment for Hispanic workers As of last year Hispanic workers were representing 30% of the construction workers population while in 2003 when the economy was slower they were representing 2.1%. The number of fatalities in construction sites is also highly correlated to the pace of the economy with the number of fall fatalities usually rising faster during an economic recovery. Again Hispanic workers are the most at risk of dying in a fall on a construction site.

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mass-for-construction-workers11 New York construction workers died on the job over the last 12 months. 9 of them were non unionized and two of them were unionized. These fallen hard hats were honored yesterday in St. Patrick’s Cathedral by thousands of construction workers. The mass is an annual tradition in New York. Thousands of construction workers most of them coming straight from work in their dusty outfits filled the cathedral. 15 different trade unions were present. Rev Brian Jordan, chaplain for the Building and Construction Trade Council of Greater New York, presided at the the mass. Behind him were 11 empty chairs each with a white hard hat and a rose.

Read more in the NY Daily News