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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 NY

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construction worker is a police officerHighway construction workers have one of of the highest rate of fatality among all categories of construction workers. Too often, they die in accidents caused by reckless drivers. In New York State,  from May to November, the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation  are joining forces to crack down on reckless drivers in highway construction zone areas. Through “Operation Hard Hat”, any highway construction workers could actually be a State trooper checking on your driving behavior near construction zones and communicating with other state troopers down the road to stop and ticket drivers who do not respect construction workers safety.

State troopers are sometimes taking the role of a flagman or could be seated in a truck checking your speed  or checking if you are using a cellphone

This year so far, according to a recent announcement by governor Cuomo, 37 operations have been conducted on New York State highways resulting in 432 speeding tickets, 112 seat-belts tickets, 192 cell phone tickets, 68 move over tickets, 2 failure to obey flagger tickets, 10 failure to obey traffic control device tickets, 1 DWI violation, 2 unsafe lane change tickets and 403 tickets for other violations. A total of  1,222 tickets were issued so far. Last year, the same campaign from May to November resulted in a total of 1,048 tickets.

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construction site NYAs New York construction workers are gradually heading back to work, OSHA only provided minimal  “safety guidance” in regards to Covid-19 safety and it is mostly up to the construction companies to create their own Covid-19 safety rules to protect construction workers from contracting the Coronaivirus.

In a recent article, The New Yorker followed Putrelo Building Enterprises, a small family construction business in the Mohawk Valley, in their efforts to re-open their business while making sure their employees are safe.  As they were looking at re-opening, the Putrelos realized that no Covid-19 related protocol was in place in regards to construction workers safety  and that OSHA guidance was so minimal that it was mostly up to them to make sure that their employees were protected from Covid-19 as they restarted work.

The construction company created its own safety protocols

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2 construction workers died after a trench collapsed in Long Island, NY. The two men were installing a septic tank for a private home located on Wolver Hollow Road in Brookville. They were 30 feet down at the bottom of the excavated area when one of the walls collapsed. Dirt and sand quickly covered the two men. First responders rushed to the rescue. They were able to recover one of the worker who was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. As they were digging with their hands and shovels to search for the second worker, another wall started to give way. Rescuers had to promptly exit and the wall had to be secured until the search for the other man could continue.  His body was finally recovered.  The workers whose identity has not been released were 45 and 57 year old. Read more on the ABC website .

https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2020/01/1200px-Excavation_for_installation_of_light_towers_at_the_under_construction_Mid-Day_Storage_Yard_in_Queens._CQ033_9-8-2017_37101223191.jpgExcavation is one of the most dangerous activities in the construction industry. In 2018, OSHA launched a National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths related to this activity. This emphasis program was launched after a recent surge of fatalities and serious injuries related to trenching and excavating. In the fourth quarter of 2019, a contractor who failed to adequately protect his employees during excavation work was slapped with a $161,771 OSHA fine. This fine was among the top 5 highest OSHA fines for the last quarter of 2019. Thankfully nobody was injured but OSHA inspectors found out that the contractor was violating several safety requirements related to excavating work such as not having a competent person conducting regular inspections of the excavation or letting workers continue to work  in an excavation that he knew was unsafe.

In 2017, an unlicensed New York contractor was criminally charged with manslaughter after a wall collapsed on his construction site killing 18 year old Fernando Vanegaz and injuring two of his colleagues (see previous blog)

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harness safety equipment on scaffoldOn April 28th, Workers Memorial Day commemorated those who have suffered and died on the job. The NY construction industry accounts for a large share of the deaths and injuries suffered by workers. While fatal construction accidents have declined by 23% in New York City over the last 5 years they increased by 39% in New York State. The main reason behind this discrepancy is the difference in regulations. While stronger regulations and an increase of enforcement and control could help reduce the construction safety crisis in New York State, businesses are heavily lobbying against them.

In New York City things are not perfect either ( 3 construction workers died over a one week period last month) but long term statistics indicate that new and old policies are helping in making construction sites safer for workers. In 2019 the funding for the New York City Department of Buildings increased to 189 million compared to 107 million in 2015. The Department was able to hire 700 more employees and increase the number of work-site inspections.  The recent implementation of Local Law 196 that requires all construction workers to have a minimum amount of safety training before being able to work on a construction site in New York City will also be helpful in preventing dangerous injury and deaths.

Scaffold Safety Law

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entrance of the German Masonic homeA hard hat was in critical condition after he was hit by debris at a NY construction site. 49 year old Arian Hila was working on the renovation of the Germanic Masonic Home at 120 Western Highway in Tappan, NY. On Friday afternoon one of the debris chutes became clogged with construction material. Arian and another construction worker went inside the dumpster and tried to clean the chute from there. As they were trying to unclog it, the clogged chute detached and fell onto Arian. He was crushed by the debris and could hardly breath. Police officers, firefighters and paramedics all jumped into the dumpster and removed the debris to free him. He could barely breath. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Adrian Hila is an idenpendant contractor employed by Atria Consulting 3. The property is owned by Noble Ninth Inc. The renovation of the building started in 2016. The accident is being investigated.

Read more in the Lohud

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Construction fatality rate NYC v NY StateOver the last five years, the fatal occupational injury rate in NY State increased by 29% while it decreased by 21.3% in New York City. Up until 2014 it was more dangerous to be a construction worker in the city than to be a construction worker somewhere else in New York State. Things have changed since 2015 when the construction fatality rate for New York State reached 10 fatalities per 100,000 workers while the same rate was 9.4 in New York City. The following year the New York State fatality rate for construction workers jumped to 14.2 while the city fatality rate declined to 8.9.

According to “Deadly Skyline” the annual report released by the  New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), these numbers are painting a sad reality for New York State. While in New York City, the Department of Buildings has been drastically increasing its resources and budget over the last few years to face the construction boom, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to be systematically underfunded and can’t keep up with the increase in new construction projects in the State.

40 HOURS SAFETY TRAINING REQUIRED FOR ALL NYC CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

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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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A construction worker was fatally struck by a bulldozer in Red Hook, NY last week. Susan M. Coons of Elizaville in Columbia County was working on a field leveling project for Jeff Decker & Son with another construction worker. 45 year old Kenneth Bendix was operating the 18-ton bulldozer. He struck her as he was moving the machine to make a minor adjustment to the blade.

The woman was transported to the hospital but she didn’t survive.

Read more in the Poughkeepsie Journal