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 NYC

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Construction worker helpin another one to set up safety harness
In New York almost half of the fatal accidents on construction sites are caused by falls. Most falls are preventable. OSHA is requiring that any worker who is working at a height of 6 feet or more from the ground and who is near an unprotected side or edge be protected with either or both of the following safety equipment:

  1. Fall restraint systems such as guardrails or safety nets
  2. Personal fall arrest system (PFAS) that includes full body harness, shock-absorbing lanyard vertical lifeline and a solid anchorage point.
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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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accident sceneA construction worker suffered two broken legs after he was struck by a drunk driver early Saturday morning in Staten Island, NYC. The driver, 28 year old Keith Hayes was driving his 2015 Nissan Altima on Midland Ave and made a right turn onto Hyland Boulevard. As he was turning he lost control of his car and hit several orange cones protecting a construction zone. He then struck a flag man barreled into the construction site and flipped his car into a ditch.  The flagman was part of a crew of construction workers who were repairing a water main. He was rushed to the hospital to be treated. The driver was tested for alcohol and breathalyzer showed 0.163, twice the legal limit. He was charged with drunk driving, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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deblasioToo many construction workers die or are getting injured on the job in New York City. A majority of fatal construction accidents occur at non unionized sites. Most of them can be prevented if workers observe basic safety rules. Unfortunately too often construction workers are not proprely trained about the dangers of working on construction sites. Many greedy contractors or developers hire cheap immigrant workers with little to no experience who get injured or even die in accidents because they haven’t been proprely trained.

To curb the recent increase of deaths on NYC construction sites,  Mayor de Blasio signed yesterday “Intro. 1447-C” a bill requiring each construction worker to attend 40 hours of safety training to be able to work at a New York construction site. “For the hard-hats in one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, this bill will help get them home to their families at night and keep the general public safe around construction sites. I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council for bringing this legislation into fruition and helping making our city even healthier, fairer and safer city for all.” said Mayor de Blasio in his press release.

The bill was supported by the construction workers unions but most of the contractors and the real estate industry opposed it. They argue that it would be expensive and that the timeline was impractical.  However, according to Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), a sponsor of the bill, the city will provide $5 million to help pay for the training for small companies and minorities.

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A construction worker died in a scaffolding accident in New York City last Sunday. The 58-year-old hard hat was working on a construction site located at 1382 Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC. The man was found on the ground by a paramedic team. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He didn’t survive his injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital. A preliminary investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a part of the scaffolding went vertical causing the worker to fall.

The site was immediately issued a stop work order by the NYC Department of Buildings. The building and the ex building owner have a long history of violations, neglect and non compliance. This building as well as another one next door located at 241 Linden Blvd were sold to an LLC associated with investor Steven Vegh for $3.7 million in December 2016. They previously belonged to Lewis Alleyne and other associates. Lewis Alleyne is a Brooklyn slumlord who miraculously escaped jail in 2011 after failing to fix more than 500 building violations and ignoring fines. Together this building and the other building located at 241 Linden Blvd have lost all but 3 of their rent stabilized apartments between 2007 and 2014.

The building where the construction worker fell has several open violations some of them immediately hazardous such as defective stairs and windows and exposed lead paint. Also it wasn’t exactly clear what type of work the man was doing on Sunday. Despite all the violations the owners were able to get a permit for a sidewalk shed.

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NYC Construction Accident Attorneys Gair Rubinowitz DonadioOur NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz, Anthony H. Gair and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $5.85 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in Queens.

The case involved a construction worker who was injured while performing asbestos removal work on a building rooftop in Queens, NYC. He fell 15-20 feet into the building when the roof collapsed in the area where he was working.

He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his spine. While in the hospital, he underwent a percutaneous fusion from the T10 vertebrae to the L2 vertebrae. He remained in the hospital for three and a half weeks after the accident. Following his discharge, he underwent several months of physical therapy and also received epidural steroid injections in his lower back.

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mass-for-construction-workers11 New York construction workers died on the job over the last 12 months. 9 of them were non unionized and two of them were unionized. These fallen hard hats were honored yesterday in St. Patrick’s Cathedral by thousands of construction workers. The mass is an annual tradition in New York. Thousands of construction workers most of them coming straight from work in their dusty outfits filled the cathedral. 15 different trade unions were present. Rev Brian Jordan, chaplain for the Building and Construction Trade Council of Greater New York, presided at the the mass. Behind him were 11 empty chairs each with a white hard hat and a rose.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Building-Blocks-NYC_logo-1Too many construction workers die in New York City because they are not proprely trained for the job. Yesterday the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and District Council 9, International Union of Painter and Allied Trades (DC9 New York) announced that they were joining forces by creating Building Blocks NYC, a new coalition to advocate for the passage of Intro 1447 by the New York City Council. Intro 1447 is a legislation that would increase training for all construction workers in New York City, union and non-union alike.

Over the last 2 years 33 construction workers died on the job in New York City. The most recent fatal construction accident in the city occurred last week in Time Square, New York. 59 year old Jose Cruz fell 18 feet to his death. Cruz fell from an I-Beam. At the time of the accident, Cruz was wearing a safety harness but it wasn’t tied it off. The accident was completely preventable. (see previous blog)

Cruz was working for Streamline USA, a non unionized contractor. Streamline has a history of safety violations on its construction sites and was fined twice by OSHA over the last year. The majority of fatal NYC construction accidents occurred on non-unionized construction sites. Building Block NYC believes that many of these fatal accidents may have been prevented if employees were proprely trained. Unlike unionized contractors who require their employees to sit down in classrooms and participate in rigorous training programs, many non unionized contractors neglect to proprely train their employees.

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464 hard hats died in construction accidents in New York State between the beginning of 2006 and the end of 2016. 55 of them died in 2015. Construction is the second most dangerous industry in NY Sate after the agricultural industry. In New York City deaths related to construction accidents represent 34% of all occupational deaths compared to 32% in Los Angeles and 24% in Chicago. Most of these deaths are preventable according to the Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State published this week by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)

Over the last few years, the boom in the construction industry led to an increase in hard hat fatalities in New York City.  25 construction workers died on the job in 2015 compared to 22 in 2014, 17 in 2013, 20 in 2013 and 17 in 2011. Over these five years, almost 60% of the fatalities were related to falls.  Other common construction accidents were related to elevator installations, electrocutions, falling objects and workers caught between equipment or machinery. From 2014 to 2015, the number of NYC construction accidents involving injury or death almost doubled, It went from 231 in 2014 to 435 in 2015.

fatal construction accidents NYC
There are only 66 OSHA inspectors in New York State. In 2014, these inspectors visited more than 2,000 construction sites. Inspectors found violations on 2 out of 3 sites visited. The most common violation was failure to protect workers from falls. The average fine was $3,673. Since August 2016, OSHA increased its fines, hoping that it may deter contractors from violating safety standards. This increase in penalties took place two months after the preventable death of 22 year old Carlos Moncayo. After the death of Moncayo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance collaborated with construction workers advocate groups to support the use of criminal laws to prosecute negligent contractors who recklessly endangered their employees life (see previous blog). As a result, Moncayo’s employer was criminally convicted and sent  to jail.

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Domino_Sugar_refineryA construction worker fell to his death in New York City on Friday morning around 8:00 am. 59 year old Wilfredo Enrique was working on the facade of  a new residential development when he fell to his death.  Enrique was employed by Two Trees Management and was working on the construction site located on the old site of the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. After the accident the site was closed and investigators were working on determining the exact cause of the fatal accident.

According to the most recent complaints reported on the NYC Department of Building website, the scaffold didn’t meet the building safety code standard. The worker fell approximately 4 floors from the master climbingwork platform, after Two Trees Management failed to safeguard the platform.  Since the construction started 41 complaints have been filled. The Department of Building issued a total of 27 violations, most of them immediately hazardous. 3 of them were still open at the time of the accident. Among the open violation were the use of rigging equipment by a non licensed rigger and the failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by the construction operations.

The accident occurred just a few weeks after the death of two other NYC construction workers in Queens (see previous blog). According to Union representatives, Enrique is the 29th construction worker who died over the last two years in New York City. The boom in the construction sector in New York has led to an increase in construction jobs in the city. In 2015, the New York Building Congress recorded 138,200 construction jobs, the highest in 40 years.