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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 NYC

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Construction Safety Conference NYC 2021How to prevent injuries and deaths caused by construction accidents in New York City is the main subject of the yearly Build Safe, Live Safe Conference organized by the NYC Department of Buildings.

The conference is digital for the second consecutive year because of the ongoing Covid19 restrictions in regards to large gatherings in indoor spaces.  The event started this Monday and continues until Friday.

The Conference which takes place during the same week as National Construction Safety Week, and OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is free and covers a broad area of subjects related to safety and sustainability in the construction industry in New York City such as :

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2 construction workers died  and 79 were injured on the job in New York City during the first two months of 2021. One fatality occurred in  Staten Island and the other one in Manhattan. In both cases the worker fell. Last year, only one worker died in NYC construction accidents over the first 2 months of the year and the year before, no fatalities were recorded during the same period. Since 2015, the number of construction worker fatalities during the first two months of the year varied between 0 and 2. Among the 79 workers injured, 41 of them were injured in fall accidents. (click on graphs for full size)

construction accident deaths by borough February 2021
Falls remain the most common cause of fatalities for construction workers in New York City. The two fatal accidents that occurred in February were falls. Both accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures had been in place. The first accident took place on a construction site located at 730 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The worker who died was cleaning an area where a permanent building trash chute was being installed. He stepped on a hole cover that snapped and gave way. The worker fell to the floor below. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The second fatal accident occurred at 144 Dunham Street in Staten Island. A roofer fell from the roof and did not survive the injuries he sustained during the fall. The inspectors found that the working permit for the construction site had expired. Multiple safety infractions were found at the site and the DOB issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard persons and property. Roofers have the highest rate of fatalities among all categories of construction workers.

Factors in NYC fatal construction accidents February 21
79 construction workers were injured in New York City during the first two months of the year. This is the lowest number of workers injured during the first two months of the year since 2017. 48 of these accidents took place in Manhattan, 14 in Brooklyn, 11 in Queens, 4 in the Bronx and 1 in Staten Island.

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construction worker using laptopInspections by the DOT play an important role in keeping NYC construction sites safe and preventing dangerous construction accidents. The covid19  crisis has demonstrated that new online technologies can sometimes be used to replace meetings in person or visiting locations, saving time and resources.  The NYC Department of Building is testing  options to conduct Remote Video Inspections instead of sending inspectors on location.

A pilot program that started on March 19th is now being run until April 30 and proposing to Staten Island contractors who require a CO-NB-ALT1 Construction DEV inspection and to Brooklyn contractors who require a “SWO Rescission/Work Without Permit Construction ENF” inspection to do these remotely.

While doing the request for such inspections, contractors have the option to fill out a Request for a Remote Video Inspection and Attestation. The contractor and any other authorized attendees will then receive an email invitation for the remote inspection with a link to an app that attendees can download on their phone to participate in the online inspection.

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location of the blakhoe accidentA New York City pedestrian crossing the street was killed by a backhoe on Friday afternoon. 61 year old Estelle Davis was walking in a crosswalk near New Lots and Van Sinderen Avenues. She was looking down at her phone when a backhoe that was doing work nearby struck her.  The backhoe belongs to Vail Industry, an independent contractor that was hired by Con Ed to perform some work in the area. Estelle Davis was on her way to work. She was a nurse working two jobs and also serves as pastor on Sunday.

The police thought initially that the woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver but a video surveillance captured images of the accident. Investigation is still ongoing but it is not clear yet why heavy construction equipment was backing up in a pedestrian area with no protection or warning. A flag worker was present at the scene but he was positioned on the other side of the machine. (Read more in the NY Daily News )

Extensive regulations have been developed by OSHA to prevent pedestrians being run over by heavy construction equipment

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workers on suspended scaffoldRepairing facades can be dangerous. Many construction workers died or were injured while repairing facades in New York  without counting the multiple close calls where workers find themselves dangling out of suspended scaffolds  like the worker in the below video who was lucky he could get back on. Sometimes workers are left dangling in the air until FDNY comes to the rescue.

The NYC DOT recorded 4 deaths and 61 injuries related to accidents during facade work since 2015 and recently released a worker alert to raise awareness about the danger of using a suspended scaffold to repair facades.

Here are a few steps that workers should follow to reduce the risk of accident when doing facade repair

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502 construction workers were injured on NYC construction sites last year conpared to 596 in 2019 and 761 in 2018. The number of construction accident injuries in New York is at its lowest since 2015.  The COVID  lockdown and the global slowdown in the construction industry contributed to this decline.

More than half of the injuries occured on construction sites located in Manhattan (289) while Brooklyn sites had the second highest number of injured workers (107). Queens came third with 43 workers injured last year followed by the Bronx with 43 injuries. Only 2 workers were injured on Staten Island construction sites last year.

Except for Staten Island where injuries dropped from 25 in 2018 to almost none over the past two years, all boroughs saw a gradual decline of construction accident injuries. In Staten Island, 2 worker injuries were reported to the DOT in 2020 and 3 in 2019 compared to 25 in 2018. These numbers seem unusually low.

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construction site NYTo reduce injuries and deaths on NYC construction sites, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law 196 in 2017. This law requires that workers can only be allowed to work on a  construction site in the city if they  attended a minimum amount of hours of safety training.

Construction superintendents, Site safety managers and site safety coordinators are all required to have  62 hours of safety training that includes the regular OSHA 30-hour safety class and additionally 8-hour fall prevention training, 8-hour on chapter 33 that covers safeguard during construction and demolition work, 4-hour scaffold safety, 2-hour site safety, 2-hour tool box talks, 2-hour safety meetings organization and preparation, 2-hour general electives, 2-hour specialized electives and 2-hour drug and alcohol awareness.

Other construction workers are required to attend the OSHA 30-hour safety class or the OSHA 10-hour class with 20 hours of additional training consisting of 8 hours of fall prevention training, 4 hours of scaffolding safety training and the option to choose between 8 hours of Chapter 33 training,  4 hours of general electives or 4 hours of specialized effectives.

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one57-crane1The NYC Department of Buildings is failing to adequately protect New Yorkers from dangerous construction accidents. A recent audit by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer show that for the 85,000 complaints that the agency received in 2019, the DOB was late in one out of five initial inspection attempts. Additionally when a first inspection took place and resulted in violations for immediately hazardous conditions, the DOB failed to make a legally required inspection  within the 60-day statutory deadline. The DOB’ s negligent attitude allows for unsafe building conditions to remain uncorrected, potentially putting New Yorkers at risk of dying or being injured in dangerous construction accidents.

“No one  should have to live or work in fear of debris or unstable scaffolding crashing down on them in a home, place of work, or at any other site in this city,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

How does the DOB respond to complaints of potentially unsafe buildings?

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5 construction workers died  and 240 were injured in New York City between June 1st and October 31st. Last year during the same period, 6 workers died and 275 were injured in NYC construction accidents.

After a slow down in March, April and May related to the Covid-19 lock down, the construction industry resumed work in the city. Out of the 5 fatalities, 3 occurred in Brooklyn and 2 in Manhattan. 3 of them were falls. Fall is the number one cause of fatalities on construction sites in New York and in the US.

  • On June 20, at a construction site located at 1154 39th Street, in Brooklyn, an unlicensed worker who was installing new junction boxes electrocuted himself  and succumbed to his injuries.
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Construction Accident Injuries in New York City in May 2020To reduce construction accident injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 was signed in 2017. The law requires that hard hats working on most New York City construction sites obtain a SST card in a specific deadline. To obtain this card, construction workers must complete at least 40 hours of OSHA or DOB approved safety training while their supervisors are required to complete at least 62 hours of safety training. Because of the Covid-19 situation, the deadline to obtain the SSD card was extended to March 2021.

The NYC Department of Buildings announced that as of today 100,000 nyc construction workers completed their training and obtained their SSD card

The DOT believes that the safety training led to a reduction of more than 20% of work site injuries in New York City last year.  The DOB also announced that construction companies with more than 15 employees can now file an application to receive a one-time grant to help reduce the cost related to training.