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 Scaffold Accidents

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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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printing houseA construction worker died after a scaffolding plank fell on his head at a New York construction site. 32 year old Luis Mata, was dismantling scaffolding at the Printing House Luxury Condos on Hudson Street when one of the planks became loose and fell 10 stories on his head. The construction worker was wearing a hard hat but the impact was so strong that he suffered severe head and neck injuries. He later died from his injuries at the hospital. Luis Mata was a non union worker from Mexico. He was living with his uncle in Westchester County. He was supporting his mom in Mexico.

Unfortunately we are seeing an increasing number of construction site accidents on non union jobs, as a result of contractors not implementing proper safety measures.

Following the accident, the NYC Department of Building issued a partial stop work order on the building. DOB records for the building located at 421 Hudson Street show that at the time of the fatal accident, the building had 6 open ECB violations including two class 2 and two class 1 violations  as well as 8 DOB violations.

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"VFMLID=29968756"Thankfully nobody was injured in a scaffold accident that happened yesterday in Midtown Manhattan. Two workers were replacing glass windows at the Marriott Courtyard Manhattan hotel located at 1717 Broadway when an electrical problem caused the scaffold to stop operating. The two men were left dangling 65 stories above ground. The hotel had to call first responders to save the two workers. The two men had to wait an hour and half in very inclement weather before the first responders were able to secure them with ropes and to cut through the glass to bring them in.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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4 construction workers at a construction site in upper Manhattan, NYC were injured in a scaffold accident on Saturday afternoon including two seriously.  The construction accident happened while the workers were “repointing” the facade of a six-story building located on Seanman Ave near Beak Street . The four hard hats were standing on  a scaffold when a cable holding it snapped. The scaffold collapsed and the four men were left hanging in the air, saved by their safety harnesses.  Two of the construction workers suffered serious injury. One of them was struck in the head by the snapping cables. The two others only suffered minor injuries. This accident demonstrates that it is essential that construction workers performing work at heights be provided with fall protection including safety harnesses and lanyards.

Minutes later the FDNY were on location and were able to pull two of the construction workers to safety through the windows. They saved the third one with the help of an aerial ladder and pulled the fourth one onto the the roof with a rope.

The 4 workers were transported to the hospital. The NY Department of Buildings is investigating the accident.  Read more in the NY Daily News 

 

 

 

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Domikick Deluca, a Yellow hard hat25 year old construction worker, died after falling from scaffolding yesterday.  The young worker was doing facade work at the Butler Houses on Webster Ave in Claremont in the Bronx when he lost his footing and fell 15 feet . He landed on his head and was transported to the hospital unresponsive and with severe trauma. He was declared dead when he arrived at the hospital. This construction worker is the 8th person to die in a construction accident in New York City since the beginning of the year (see previous blog) .

Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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A scaffold accident caused by an equipment failure of the traction hoist brake mechanism that supports one side of the rig, left two window washers dangling outside the 69th floor of One World Trade Center in Manhattan, NYC which opened for business last week.

The two window washers, Juan Lizama and Juan Lopez, were trapped for two hours until firefighters were able to rescue them. The two workers were brought to safety through a hole that firefighters cut in one of the windows.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the accident. It is not the first time that Tractel Group, the company that supplied the scaffold, has had an accident with its material. The company was fined $21,000 in 2008 after one worker died in an accident during which a scaffold that the Tractel Group had previously repaired gave way. Last June in midtown Manhattan two other window washers were left dangling 500 feet above ground after a scaffold built by the Tractel Group snapped. They were rescued by firefighters. Read more on the AP website

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Thankfully nobody was hurt in a scaffold accident that happened early this morning in New York. 2 construction workers were being hoisted up on a scaffold when it apparently became unhinged on one side. The two men were between the 12th and 13th floor of a 20 story building located ner Lexington on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Rescuers were able to pull the workers to safety through the windows.

Read more on NBC New York website

Click here to read more about Scaffold Accidents in NYC

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Labor Law 240 known as The Scaffold Law protects New York construction workers from elevation related construction accidents. Recently the construction industry and real estate developers have been making another legislative push in Albany to change the law to their advantage. In response to this push, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week in an interview with the Crain’s editorial board that he had no intention to change the law. Cuomo said that changes to Labor Law 240 were not a top priority for business interests or for him.

Cuomo also added that the law couldn’t be changed because of the strength of its supporters, particularly the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. The trial lawyers as well as immigrant rights and community organizations support the law because even though it is not perfect it remains the only way to make sure construction workers are adequately protected from dangerous accidents.

Read the Crain’s article

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scaffold.jpg New York Labor Law Section 240 or Scaffold Law was enacted more than 100 years ago to protect construction workers from elevated work related accidents. It holds general contractors, owners and others liable if unsafe conditions at the job site lead to a worker’s injury or death (to learn more about NY Labor Law 240 see recent presentation by NY Construction Accident Attorney Anthony Gair)

The construction industry has been trying to repeal and amend this law since it was created and the last attack came with a report entitled “The Costs of Labor Law 240 on New York’s economy and Public Infrastructure” and published by the The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The report uses questionable statistic methodologies to blame The Scaffold Law for creating more accidents and more injuries.

The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) discovered that the report was actually commissioned by the New York Civil Justice Institute, a front group that was specifically created for this purpose by the Lawsuits Reform Alliance of New York who paid $82,800 for it. The Lawsuits Reform Alliance of New York is well known for lobbying against laws protecting plaintiffs in favor of the construction industry and other corporate interests. The CPD and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) just published a paper entitled “Fatally Flawed: Why the Rockefeller Institute’s Scaffold Law Report Doesn’t add up

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Dangerous%20Construction%20Site.jpg Among all construction accidents, falls are the leading cause of death. Contractors are required by law to protect their employees from falling by supplying and ensuring the use of legally required safeguards that can prevent personal injuries and save lives.

Flintlock Construction Services LLC, the Mamaroneck-based general contractor for the construction of a 23-story hotel in Midtown Manhattan at 325 W. 33rd St. (see picture) did not follow these rules and OSHA proposed a penalty of of $249,920 and cited for seven violations of OSHA‘s fall protection and scaffolding standards that involved workers exposed to scaffolding accidents and potential fatal falls of up to 26 feet. Flintlock failed to provide and ensure the use of fall protection for workers on the scaffold. The scaffold lacked a safe means of access, the work platforms were not fully planked and the scaffold was not tied off to restrain it from tipping. Flintock also failed to provide training on the hazards associated with erecting scaffolds and failed to have a competent person determine the feasibility of providing fall protection for workers erecting and dismantling the scaffolding. Additionally a scaffold walkway was found too narrow and an anchorage was found inadequate for the fall protection system.

3 other contractors were also cited. V&P Altitude Corp., a Brooklyn-based siding contractor was cited for lack of fall protection; no safe access to the scaffolding; not fully planking the scaffold platforms; failing to tie off the scaffolding; and not locking mobile scaffold wheels and casters. SMK Associates, a masonry contractor, was cited for electrical hazards and failing to provide eye and face protection and Maspeth Steel Fabricators Inc failed to provide training on the hazards of working on scaffolds.