Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted During the Coronavirus. Click for More Information ›
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

Published on:

A welder died and another construction worker was seriously injured after a building collapsed on a NYC construction site yesterday.

50 year old David Johnson, a father of two daughters going to college, was working on the demolition of a building located at 147-05 94th Ave in Jamaica, Queens, when the second floor where he was standing collapsed.  Johnson and another unidentified worker were buried in the debris. When firefighters arrived, the condition were so bad that they had to use ladder trucks to free the victims. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Hi co-worker was transported to the hospital with critical injury.

Johnson was an unionized welder with Local 79.  He took the job at the non unionized  demolition site run by the general contractor Cole Partners Inc because it was hard for him to find work. Before the accident, Leslie White, another member of Local 79 who worked as a safety supervisor on another site told him the day before “that thing is going to collapse”. Johnson told her not to worry.

Published on:

geograph-4749794-by-John-BakerIn the aftermath of the tragic construction accident that killed Segundo Huerta and injured 5 other workers on a Bronx site in August last year (see previous blog), the NYC Department of Buildings recently released a notice to remind special inspectors, construction superintendents, design professionals, and permit holders about the requirements related to cold-formed steel light-frame construction in New York City.

Cold form steel framing is often used in low rise and mid-rise building projects. It refers to the structural frame that creates the form and support to the building.  While erecting such structures, clear procedures including properly bracing loading decks, or avoiding overloading floors with temporary construction loads must be followed to prevent collapse.

The NYC Building Code has specific regulations and requirements related to cold form steel framing. Last month, the DOB issued a service notice reminding construction professionals about it. Here are some of the main points:

Published on:

One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.June 2019 fatalities on NYC construction sites

A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.

Manhattan Construction worker fatalities June 2019
One hard hat died in Brooklyn during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 1, 1, 1 and 2 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Published on:

A hard hat died and five others were injured after a building under construction partially collapsed in the Bronx. 48 year old Segundo Huerta, a father of five, was working on a construction site located at 92 East 208 Street in the Bronx, on Monday around noon, when the third floor of the building started to crumble and falling on workers below. Segundo and his colleagues were hit and buried in concrete and debris.  When  the firefighters arrived, Segundo was trapped and by the time they were able to recover him he had succumbed to fatal injuries.

The other construction workers injured  were Segundo’s family members or good friends. His 21 year old nephew Manuel Giovanni Huerta suffered a serious spine injury. His cousin Santiago Mayancela suffered a torn ear and a leg injury. Luis Romero, the brother of Segundo’s sister in law suffered a serious head injury. Two friends from the family Luis Antonmio Quizhpi and a man identified as Jose were also injured. The group of workers had been working together on construction  sites for more than 12 years. Segundo, originally from Ecuator, had been living in the US for 19 years. The family and relatives that gathered at the scene of the accident were heart broken.

OVERLOADED FLOOR CAVED IN

Published on:

New York Construction workersConstruction workers fatalities and injuries are on the rise in New York City. The boom in construction has lead to a shortage in experienced construction workers and as a result many contractors have been hiring workers with less or little experience without providing them proper safety training.  To reduce the number of injuries and deaths on NYC construction sites and make sure every construction worker is proprely trained about safety, the New York City Council introduced  new legislation “NYC Local Law 196”  that increases the minimum number of training hours for a construction worker to 59 hours.

What does NYC Local Law 196 mean for construction workers and contractors?

NYC Local Law 196 is being implemented in 3 phases

Published on:

According to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings there were no fatalities at New York City construction sites during the first trimester of 2019 compared to 2 during the last trimester of 2018 and 4 during the same period a year ago. A total of 137 construction workers were injured in NYC during the first 3 months of the year compared to 158 during the previous trimester and 174 during the same period a year ago.  From April 1st 2018 to March 31st 2019, 8 construction workers died on the job, compared to 16 for the same period a year earlier. (click on graphs for full size)

Fatalities in the New York City Construction Industry
Among the 137 workers who were injured, 90 of them were working at Manhattan construction sites, 10 at Bronx sites, 23 at Brooklyn sites, 13 at Queens sites and 1 at  a Staten Island construction site.

Construction Accident Injuries NYC by boroughs
Most construction accident fatalities and deaths in New York City occur in Manhattan. Both fatalities and injuries are on a rising trend in Manhattan. However, on a positive note, it is the first time since 2015 that no hard hat death was recorded in Manhattan over a 5 month-period. 25 workers were injured at Manhattan construction sites in both January and March with a spike at 40 in February.

Published on:

New York Construction SiteAs part of its yearly Safety Week Campaign, the New York City Department of Buildings will deploy 90 safety inspectors throughout the city to inspect construction sites and educate construction workers about safety. This year the inspectors will emphasize the new Local Law 196 compliance and distribute written material in various languages. The inspectors will have various backgrounds and will come from the Department’s newly created Construction Safety Compliance and Construction Safety Enforcement units, the Cranes and Derricks Unit, the Scaffold Safety Unit, and the Special Operations Unit.

5000 construction site visit in one week

The inspectors will not only promote safety by distributing flyers but will also effectuate regular safety sweeps and take necessary actions if needed. If the construction sites visited do not comply with safety standards, contractors and developers could face up to $25 k penalties and even see their construction site temporary closed if the lives of the construction workers are being endangered. The DOB inspectors will visit approximately 5000 sites between May 6 and 10.

Published on:

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

Published on:

A young construction worker fatally fell from a building in New York City last Wednesday. 23 year old Erik Mendoza was replacing bricks underneath a water tower located on the rooftop of  1 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights when he fell off the building. A Mexican immigrant, Mendoza had arrived in the US 5 years ago.  He had just started his job as a construction worker for the building a week before the accident.

No permit required doesn’t mean no worker protection

The work Mendoza was doing wasn’t didn’t require a permit, however it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that employees effectuate their work in safe conditions. As he was working under the water tower with a colleague, he slipped and fell 13 stories, landing in front of the entrance of the luxury co-op pre-war building.

Published on:

NYC Construction AccidentThe DOB recently released the presentations made at  last year’s Build Safe/Live Safe Conference. Among them,  “Construction Safety, Year in Review, Recent and Upcoming Changes” by Timothy Hogan and Patrick Wehle reviews and documents with pictures every fatal and near miss construction accident that occurred in New York City in 2017. Among the 12 fatalities, 1 worker died from electrocution and 11 died in falls that could have been prevented by following safety guidelines. In all 11 accidents, workers either weren’t wearing a harness or were wearing it but it wasn’t tied off proprely or not at all.

Near Misses resulting in serious injuries

The presentation also highlights 6 near misses that resulted in serious injuries for workers. These accidents were completely avoidable, related to the decision of the contractor and required extensive rescue operations. In one of the accidents a crane that was illegally modified dropped a 15,000 pound shearing hammer on a construction worker’s leg. Two accidents were related to a floor collapsing on workers because of overload. A shoring failure caused 6 workers to be caught in a collapse of 12+ yards of concrete. A small crane overturned after a stressed out operator failed to deploy the outriggers. 6 workers doing demo almost died in a roof collapse.