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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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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.

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construction workers are at risk of heat strokeWhile construction companies have to respect very strict safety protocol to prevent their workers being injured in construction accidents, they often overlook the global health of their workers.

In a recent opinion in Construction Dive, Gordon Childress, the executive VP and GM for the California division of Skanska Building USA  look at the risks of heart disease among construction workers and how can their employers help reduce these risks.

According to statistics from the CDC, 1 out of 4 construction workers is at risk of a heart disease. While some workers are genetically pre-disposed to this risk and have histories of diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol running in their family, others simply have an unhealthy lifestyle that puts them at risk of developing such disease.

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construction NYCAssuring a culture of safety on construction sites, allow a construction company not only to to make sure employees are safe and accidents are prevented but also to keep employees’ compensation costs under control control and have a spotless reputation.

Even small construction companies can install a few metrics that can go a long way in preventing accidents and reducing costs such as:

  • Substance abuse programs: previous studies have shown that alcohol and/or drugs are involved in one third of construction accidents. A strict alcohol and drug policy and the implementation of  alcohol and drug testing programs can lead to a reduction in construction accidents
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Linemen have one of the most dangerous job in the construction industryDerrick workers in oil gas and mining, roofers, ironworkers, crane operators, construction helpers, landscaping supervisors, highway maintenance workers, cement masons, ground maintenance workers, maintenance workers and mining machine operators have some of the highest death rates among all workers. Out of the top 25 most dangerous jobs  in the US, 12 of them are related to the construction industry according to a recent study released by AdvisorSmith.

Derrick operators in the oil gas and mining industry whose job is to operate and maintain the derrick and drill equipment used to extract oil or gas have the third most dangerous activity of all American workers behind logging workers and aircraft pilots and flight engineers. The average yearly salary of a derrick operator is $51,390 and the average fatal injury rate is 46 per 100,000 workers.  20 of them died on the job  in 2018 according to the most recent data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Roofers who average a $42,100 yearly salary come right behind them with a fatal injury rate of 41 per 100,000 workers. 96 of them died in roofing accidents in 2018.

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NYC construction workers1,061 construction workers died on the job in the US in 2019, 5% more than in 2018 according to the annual National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report recently released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The private construction industry remains one of the most dangerous  industries with a fatality rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2019 compared to 3.5 deaths per 1000.000 average for all industries in 2019. In 2018, the rate of fatality in the private construction industry was 9.5 per 100,000 workers.

Roofers and and construction trade helpers have the highest rate of fatality among  all construction workers