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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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.

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A construction worker suffered critical injury after he fell down an elevator shaft in NYC. The 42 year old man was an employee of Economy Elevator Inc. He was working on a construction site at 246 Johnson Ave in Brooklyn, NYC when he fell seven stories in the elevator shaft. Other workers who heard him scream came to the rescue and call the emergency medical workers. The workers was able to move his hands and his feet when the EMS put him on the stretcher. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. According to DNA Info the worker was wearing a harness when he was found on the ground. However it is not clear if it was attached to anything at the time of the accident. Read more in DNA Info 

246 Johnson Ave is located at the corner of Bushwick Place near the Montrose L stop. In 2014 it was a one-story building that was bought by developer Moshe Silberstein. A residential building is now being constructed at this location. See below a picture of the building from Google map before development.

246 Johnson Ave

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construction workerThe New York City Department of Buildings announced earlier this year that 12 people died in  construction accidents in New York City in 2015 but the real number is 18. According to a recent article in Crain’s, the New York City Department of Buildings only counts deaths that are related to a violation of the city’s construction code.

Despite being featured by media and investigated by OSHA, all other deaths on NYC construction sites are not counted as construction accident deaths  in the DOB statistics. This obviously doesn’t make much sense. The DOB numbers are a distorted indication of the level of safety on New York construction sites.

Among the deaths that the city didn’t count were a hard hat who fell to his death in an elevator shaft,  a safety coordinator crushed by a crane, a worker who fell from a ladder and a truck driver who was sucked into a concrete truck shaft. Following these deaths, OSHA issued safety violations for each case. However the DOB didn’t and also didn’t add them to the total number of New York City construction accident deaths in 2015.

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steel plateThree construction workers suffered serious personal injury on a construction site in Brooklyn. The three hard hats were working on a building located on 21st Street near the Gownaus expressway. A steel plate came loose and struck the three workers. They were all transported to the hospital in serious condition.

Steel plates are commonly used in construction sites to reinforce structures. Construction accidents related to loose steel plates are unfortunately happening too often. Due to the heavy weight of the steel plate, they can result in serious personal injury or death. Workers and supervisors always should make sure that steel plates are proprely secured to prevent this type of construction accident.

Read more in the NY Post

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KingsbrookA hard hat worker suffered critical injury in a NYC construction accident yesterday. A construction truck hit a suspended cable line causing a pole to fall, knocking down the construction worker into a 15 foot trench. The accident happened at the corner of East 49th Street and Rutland Road in Brownsville, next to the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

When Brian Yokers, one the ER doctors at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, heard about a worker in cardiac arrest at the construction site next to the hospital he ran out to the construction site and followed the crowd to the trench. The worker was still breathing when he arrived. He stepped down the ladder into the trench to help the worker.  He held his head stable to prevent a spinal cord injury until the FDNY arrived with a neck brace. The worker was then placed on a backboard and hoisted out of the trench. He was then transported to the Kings County Hospital.

Kudos to Brian Yokers!