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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 Tagged with construction accident

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roofers fatalityRoofers have one of the most dangerous occupations among all workers. Every year more than hundred of them are dying in fall accidents. According to the most recent statistics, among the 401 fall fatalities recorded in the construction industry in 2019, 146 of them were roofer fatalities. Roofers have the fourth highest fatal injury rate after fishing and hunting workers, logging workers and aircraft and flight engineers according to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (see graph on the left)

Many fatal falls could have been prevented if  roofers were using a personal fall arrest

In New York, employers are required by law to provide roofers with a personal fall arrest system that meets the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z359).  A personal fall arrest system consists of a full body harness, connectors and lanyards that will limit the fall distance by being attached to a fixed anchor. Under New York Law, roofers also have to take a determined amount of hours of training in order to learn how to use the equipment.

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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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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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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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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.

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crane in New yorkOn April 26th, as part of the second National Stand-Down to prevent struck by accidents among construction workers, two free webinars will be offered by the NORA Construction Sector Council.

The first webinar will take place from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and will focus on preventing struck by-accidents that occur around cranes and during lifting operations. According to statistics from the Center for Construction Research and Training, one crane accident occurs for every 10,000 hours of use. Crane collapsing or crane tipping are among the most common crane accidents. In these types of accidents, construction workers have a high risk to be crushed not only by the crane but also by the heavy material carried by the crane.  Most of the time these accidents occur because of human errors such as:

  • not using the manufacturer’s load charge for the crane
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Hard-Rock-Hotel-construction-accident-e1582228604154The construction industry saw a period of growth during the last decade and with more workers employed, the number of hard hat injuries and deaths also increased.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently published a study looking at construction worker fatal injuries from 2011 to 2019. They found that while the number of workers employed in the industry grew by more than 25%  between 2011 and 2019, the number of fatal injuries recorded a 41.1% increase. While looking at ethnicity, Hispanic workers were the most commonly hired workers and their employment rate grew by 55% during the period under review. They also recorded a jump in 89.8% in job fatalities.

While looking at construction workers ‘age, the middle age workers category (45 to 64 year old) recorded the highest number of deaths, however while looking at the rate of fatalities, workers over 65 years old were the most at risk of dying on the job with a rate of 22 deaths per 100,000 Full time workers (FTWs), compared to 9.6 per 100,000 FTWs for workers under 55 years old.

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fall prevention 2021Despite safety regulations and awareness campaigns falls continue to be the number one cause of deaths and injuries among construction workers.  According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, among the 1008 construction worker fatalities recorded nationally in 2018, 320 were fall fatalities.

To continue raising awareness about the risks of fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is partnering with multiple construction safety advocates and governmental organizations  such as  the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE),  the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA),  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),  the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the U.S. Navy to educate as many construction workers as possible on fall safety.

Any companies involved in construction can participate in the Stand-Down 2021 and will receive a certificate of participation if they do so

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safety on construction site is keyPreventing construction accidents and making sure every hard hat is safe on a job site should be a priority for every contractor and developer. Recently Construction Dive looked at the construction safety trends for 2021. Here is a summary:

  • OSHA penalties have been adjusted to the inflation rate and now the maximum penalty for serious and other-than-serious violations is $13,653 per violation compared to 13,494 last year. The maximum penalty for for willful or repeated violations is now $136,532 per violation. It was $134,937 per violation last year.
  • OSHA also announced that it changed the system used to collect penalties. Violators will receive a series of 3 payment letters that will be sent 7, 30 and 60 days after a violator failed to timely pay the penalty. A phone call will also be made 14 days after the payment due date. Establishments that are not on an affordable payment plan and did not pay a penalty will be put on a priority list for further inspection.
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Work-Zone-Stand-Down-Announcement-FlyerThe number one cause of injuries among construction workers are “struck-by” accidents. Struck by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling objects are the 4 most common “struck-by” accidents causing injuries to construction workers. To raise awareness and reduce these types of accidents, the NORA Construction Sector Council along with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is organizing, on April 20, a National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Injuries”.

Participants to the stand down will pause work on April 20 and set aside time time for stand down activities such as virtual or small group Toolbox Talks, look at work zone safety training and review the traffic control plan of the construction site. Sending emails or texting safety reminders as well as putting posters up and holding quiz contests will also help raising awareness.

Organizers can look for ideas and get material to download on the CPWR website such as promotional flyers, various tool box talks in English and in Spanish related to how to operate a vehicle safely in a work zone, how to work safely around vehicles on a construction site, how to make sure cranes are stable and don’t tip and how to prevent objects from falling. Organizers can also download infographics cautioning workers to stay alert, vehicle operators to observe safety rules and contractors to make sure they have a solid internal traffic control plan.