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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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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.

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construction NYCBuilding in New York can be challenging and safety is not only about keeping construction workers safe but also about keeping New Yorkers safe, including the neighbourghs and the pedestrians to the future tenants. Every year the NYC Department of Buildings organizes a week long seminar during which construction professionals and experts present the last trend in regards to safe building and safe living.

The 2020 “Build Safe/Live Safe” is kicking off tomorrow  in a digital only format due to Covid-19 restrictions in regards to gathering of big groups in indoor spaces.

The Department of Buildings prepared a one week program during which participants can attend webinars presented by experts on topics ranging from industry trends and safe construction operations to legal developments in sustainability, and more.

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construction workersTo prevent and reduce construction accidents injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 requires that most construction workers receive 40 hours of safety training and that their supervisor receive 62 hours of training.  Local Law 196 was passed in 2017 after construction accidents fatalities recorded by the DOB went from 3 in 2013 to 8 in 2014, 12 in 2015, 12 in 2016 and 12 again in 2017. The original deadline for workers to receive their 40 hours of training was September 1 2020 but because much of the “in-person training” was cancelled or postponed because of the covid-19 crisis, the Department of Buildings extended the deadline to March 1 2021. The classes can be taken in person or online.  Online classes are available in multiple languages.

Most construction workers and their supervisors must comply with Local law 196 to be able to work at their construction site

The only construction workers who are exempted from getting safety training are DCA-licensed Home Improvement Contractors and workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations as well as workers building a new 1, 2 or 3-family home. Workers who are not sure if their sites require safety training can consult the interactive site safety construction map.  Personal on these specific sites that do not require safety training are the site owners, the projects managers, the professional engineers, the architects, the developers, the delivery people, the construction managers, the flag persons, the general contractors, the people taking care of the concrete testing, the filing representatives, the security officers, the special inspectors, the service technicians and the consultants. All other construction workers at the sites including demolition workers, construction superintendents, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, forepersons, journey men, employees of DOB licensees or registrants must comply with Local Law 196.  Those who need to take classes can use the DOB”s map of approved course providers or go to the OSHA website to locate a course provider or take an online class.

 

 

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22 construction workers were injured in New York City during the month of May compared to 6 during the month of April and 51 during the same month a year earlier. As most New Yorkers were still required to stay home during the month of May,  more than 5,000 non essential construction sites were authorized to re-open at the end of April on the condition that they were following the Covid-19 safety protocol for the industry such as disinfecting tools, social distancing and wearing masks. The gradual opening of New York City construction sites lead to a small increased in the number of hard hats injured on the job in NYC. There were no deaths recorded during the month of May. So far since the beginning of 2020 only one worker died on a New York construction site in February. Manhattan had the highest number of injuries, followed by Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

Construction Accident Injuries in New York City in May 2020
Most injuries were minors and classified under “others” and the few others were related to falls. Fall is the most common cause of accident injuries and deaths in the construction industry not only in New York City but also in the US.

NYC construction accident injuries by categories May 2020
12 construction workers were injured on Manhattan construction sites. Some injuries were minors. A worker cut his finger  with a box cutter, another one punctured his foot after walking on a nail.

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excavation work in NYC streetsNew York construction site owners and contractors are responsible for their employees safety. While before the coronavirus crisis this meant that they had to take adequate safety measures to protect construction workers from accident injuries and deaths, now contractors are also responsible for applying the new covid-19 protocole. In New York where aggressive measures have been deployed by the Governor to reduce the spread of the disease, construction site owners and contractors have to follow a strict protocol to keep everybody safe.

The NYC Department of Buildings now has dedicated inspectors who are visiting  construction sites to make sure they are compliant

Since July 8th, any NYC construction site that doesn’t respect the Covid-19 protocol can be penalized with violations fines and stop work orders if necessary. During the first five days, inspectors issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders to construction sites all over the city. During the previous months the inspectors had been reaching out to violators and provided them with guidance and material related to the application of the covid-19 protocol for construction sites in New York City.