Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted During the Coronavirus. Click for More Information ›
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

Published on:

safety stand down constructionFalls in construction are the main cause of construction worker deaths and injuries. In the US, every year  around 200 workers die and 10,000 suffer personal injury after they fell on a construction site.

To prevent and reduce fall accidents, every year since 2012, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are joining forces annually for a one week national campaign asking construction workers and their supervisors all over the nation to conduct a stand down focusing on fall prevention.

During a stand down, workers pause work and  participate in discussions or activities related to fall prevention and safety policies

Published on:

Construction job with the highest risk of fall injuriesFall is the number one cause of death for construction workers. Every year in America, 10,000 construction workers suffer serious injuries and 200 die in fall accidents. To raise awareness about this problem, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) are organizing a yearly national campaign: The National Safety Stand-Down. The event lasts several days during which every construction company owner is invited to spend a day or at least a few hours with their employees to review fall safety protection.  Thousands of construction companies are participating every year reaching millions of construction workers.

This year the event was supposed to be organized  in May but many construction businesses were shut down because of the Covid-19 crisis. Therefore the 7th National Safety Stand-Down to prevent Falls has been moved to the 14th to 18th of September 2020.

For this year, the organizers suggest that the event be held virtually or that companies owners make sure that construction workers social distance during the stand-down. Video and webinar might be a good way to keep the stand-down safe for all.

Published on:

excavation work in NYC streetsToo many construction workers are still being injured or dying while working in trenches or excavations. A new video by OSHA on excavation and trenching safety looks at previous violations and how to prevent them.

While doing excavation, construction workers are facing multiple hazards. Cave in hazard is the most dangerous one.  Unfortunately  many construction workers are injured or die in trenches because of negligence. Failure to respect excavation requirements is the 6th most common violation in the construction industry behind fall protection (general requirement), scaffolding, ladders, fall protection training and eye and face protection.

While looking at violations related to excavation and trenching the most common one is failure to protect employees in excavations with 809 citations in 2019. OSHA requires employers to set up specific protective systems such as shoring for workers in excavations however too many employers are still cutting corners as the high number of violations demonstrates.

Published on:

construction sites are reopening in NYCNow that the construction industry is restarting in most of the country, some contractors are using the help and advice of medical professionals. to keep the deadly virus out of their job sites. Medical consultants are being hired to make sure the new Covid-19 safety guidelines are applied proprely and health and safety staff are being seen on job sites screening construction workers temperature.  Industrial hygienists are being hired to work on safety protocols. Infectious disease experts are providing consulting to construction companies with large amounts of workers to make sure they get advice on proper infection control practices across construction sites such as  installation of washing stations, cleaning, new protocol with food vendors, proper face covering and contact tracing procedures.  Many large contractors have also created their own Response Team in charge of working with medical experts to make sure recommendations are proprely implemented. They also try to hire health care providers with pandemic preparedness background to join theses teams on a full time basis. However because of the actual shortage of healthcare providers these positions are difficult to fill.

In New York, employers are responsible for the safety of their construction workers. A large contractor not only consulted with medical professionals for its construction sites but also for its corporate offices. The contractor uses automatic temperature checking stations, barriers between open offices as well as staggered start times with rotation schedules for their employees. The flow of offices has been re-designed to one way. Employees received personal lunch kits, and silver defender virus-killing tape was applied on door handles, coffee stations and copy machines.  Additionally the marketing team of the company has been creating various videos to proprely train employees on how to access their job sites or their office, how to behave on the jobs site and in offices, how to socially distance while at work as well as how to use sanitation and cleaning.

Read more in Construction Dive

 

 

Published on:

construction worker using laptopWith the Coronavirus pandemic, the construction industry is adopting new technologies to make sure workers are protected.Remote monitoring, online inspections and video conferencing are becoming more and more common on construction sites and governmental entities are considering technologies that give them the option to conduct virtual inspections.

Because the cost of labor is cheaper in the US than in Europe, American construction sites have not relayed on technology as much as their European or Australian counterparts. However with many construction sites being deemed essential during the Covid-19 crisis, American contractors are now catching up and integrating new technologies that might become the new norm in the future.

Wearable technology can save life

Published on:

Construction-workers-injuries-preventionSafety on construction sites is not only about preventing accidents but also about keeping construction workers healthy and preventing injuries.

Because of the nature of the tasks they perform on a daily basis, construction workers are at a high risk of developing work-related muskuloskeletal disorders (WMSDs) also known as soft tissues injuries.

Keeping  a worker free from injuries is a win win situation for both the employer and the worker

Published on:

construction workers65 construction workers died from unintentional overdose while on the job in the US in 2018 compared to respectively 48, 32, 27, 18, 17, 7 and 7 in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. These deaths represent more than a quarter of the 305 overdose fatalities at workplaces recorded for all industries in the US in 2018. The construction industry is one of the most affected industries by the opioid crisis in the US.

In its recently published Quarterly Data Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) provides an in-depth analysis of the dramatic increase of unintentional overdose fatalities on american construction sites.

HIGH NUMBER OF UNINTENTIONAL OVERDOSE FATALITIES ON CONSTRUCTION SITES IN THE NORTH EAST REGION

Published on:

Hard-Rock-Hotel-construction-accident-e1582228604154The crane accident that killed 4 people at a Google office project in Seattle and the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel project that resulted in 3 deaths were among the most horrendous construction accidents that occur last year in the US.  While these major tragedies were all over the news, crane accidents and partial building collapses occurred all over the country last year.  A partial collapse of a building in Cinicinnati, a crane collapse in Dallas. Most big cities in the US  had similar tragedies including New York. Last August one man died and five were injured in a building collapse (see previous blog). A crane company was temporarily banned from the city after two consecutive crane accidents including one resulting in the death of a construction worker (see previous blog).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 175 people are injured in crane accidents and 44 die on average every year in the US

Most crane accidents are caused by human errors. Many of them such as the one that occurred at the Google site in Seattle or the one that killed a worker in New York occur during the  assembling or the disassembling of the crane.  The assembly/dissassembly director is in charge of making sure that the manufacturer guidelines and all safety procedures are followed during this dangerous operation. While OSHA introduced new regulations last April, these regulations are mostly related to improving crane operator’s knowledge and training.

Published on:

cell-phone-on-construction-siteCell phone usage on construction sites may increases the risk of accidents. While there are no specific rules when it comes to cellphone usage on a construction site, it is the employer’s responsibility to keep employees safe and to train them about cell phone usage while working on an active construction site.

Headphones are not OSHA approved ear protective devices

While OSHA requires construction workers to use ear protective devices when the noise on a site exceeeds permissible noise exposure limits, they are not talking about headphones or earbuds. While some manufacturers are advertising that their headphones are OSHA approved or OSHA compliant,  OSHA warned in a recent letter that these claims are misleading.  Listening to music when working on an active construction site covers environmental sounds and increases the risk for construction workers to be struck by hazards while performing their work.

Published on:

NYC construction workersConstruction workers and extraction workers not only have a high risk of getting injured on the job but also they are the most at risk of getting addicted to drugs such as non prescription opioid, cocaine and marijuana according to a recent study published by NYU. The study looked at 290,000 workers belonging to 13 different industries and found out that 3.4% of construction workers were misusing painkillers compared to a 2% average for the rest of the professions.

The study confirms that the opiate crisis is a major problem in the construction industry but also found that construction workers were also consuming more marijuana and cocaine than other workers. The study links the increased risk of addictions to all 3 substances to the precarious condition of employment sustained by construction workers and found that absenteeism is a trigger  for increased used of all 3 drugs. The study also found that  employers with written drug policies  have less workers dealing with cocaine addiction and employers using drug testing had less workers using marijuana.

Drug addiction treatments not proposed by employers