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 from New York died after a wall collapsed at a Brooklyn construction site last Wednesday. 47 year old Luis Almonte of Innwood was part of a crew of 6 construction workers who were digging into the ground with an excavator at a one-story building located on 39th street. The workers were preparing the ground for the construction of a new manufacturing and healthcare center. As they were digging, a slurry wall suddenly collapsed and buried Almonte.  The FDNY first responders searched for hours through the rubble assisted by a NYPD K9 Unit. A Con Edison truck designed to vacuum debris and soil was also used to assist the crews. The rain was making the search more difficult. The body of Luis Almonte was finally found on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The DOB is still investigating the reason for the wall collapse. The construction site had active permits and no complaints or violations.

 

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NYC construction workers The number of construction accident fatalities in New York City recorded by the DOB doubled during the first seven months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. The DOB data does not include fatalities from transit and roadway projects, as well as health emergencies, that are not in DOB’s jurisdiction and usually approximately account for an additional third of the DOB numbers. These numbers are usually recorded by OSHA but are not available so far.

8 construction workers died between January 1st 2018 and July 31st 2018. The year before, 4 of them died during the same period of time. Injuries also rose by 17% from 401 to 469 while the total number of construction accidents went up 18.4% from 386 to 457.

Among the 8 workers who died, 4 of them died while working on a Manhattan construction site , 2 of them while working on a Queens site, one of them on a Brooklyn site and one of them on a Bronx site. Sadly most of these deaths might have been prevented if safety rules had been proprely implemented and respected.

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Trinity Grace ChurchA NYC hard had suffered critical injury after he fell from scaffolding at a church construction site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  The man who was employed by 4M Construction was doing brick work on the Trinity Grace Church located at 231 Ainslie Street in Williamsburg. He was on scaffolding when he fell two stories onto the sidewalk shed. The accident occurred Monday afternoon around 2pm.  The emergency responders rescued the man and rushed him to the hospital. A neighbor told the NY Daily News that he previously called 311 because he was worried about the unsafe conditions at the construction site.

Read more in the NY Daily News

Picture of the accident location: courtesy of Google Map

 

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A hard hat died at a NYC construction site after being crushed between a forklift and and a flatbed truck. 46 year old Jorge Castaneda from Queens was working at a Brooklyn construction site located at the intersection of Stewart Street and Broadway in Buschwick, Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm. The construction worker walked between a flatbed truck and a forklift that was carrying scaffolding pipes. The forklift tipped over as it was passing next to Castaneda, crushing him against the truck.  Emergency responders lifted the forklift, liberated the poor man and rushed him to the hospital. Unfortunately the worker couldn’t be saved. He died from his injuries.  Read more in the NY Daily News

Forklifts are dangerous machines and unfortunately accidents involving workers on foot struck by such machines are all too common. Very often accidents occur because safety protocols established by the New York State Department of Labor were not followed. In the case of the death of Jorge Castaneda, the forklift may have tipped because it was not in compliance with Industrial Code §23-9.8(b) stating that forklifts may not be overloaded.

Picture of the site of the accident courtesy of Google Map

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An 8 year old girl suffered head injury after being hit by debris falling off a NYC construction site.

Last Friday morning, Tatiana Devia was in the courtyard of her family’s apartment building on 35th Avenue near 83rd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, when a wooden plank fell on her head. She was rushed to the hospital to be treated for a mild concussion and a large wound to her head. 3 staples were needed to close the wound. The wood fell from a construction site located at the fourth floor of the building were workers where renovating an apartment. Workers were moving planks from the construction site to the ground by letting them down with a rope from the fire escape. One of the wood pieces slipped from the rope and hit the girl. Construction workers were working without having proprely safeguard the area. The man who was lowering the board ran away and was nowhere to be found.

Investigators from the Department of Buildings issued a full stop work order and the contractor was hit with 3 violations including failure to safeguard a construction site. The family and other witnesses who live in the building said that the little girl could have been killed. Her brother was so traumatized that he was scared to return home.

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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.