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:

construction is the most dangerous job in NYCMaking sure NYC buildings and construction sites are safe for construction workers, New Yorkers and their visitors, is the big responsibility of the New York City Department of Buildings. However the Department is not always proprely run and corruption scandals are common. The last one is the resignation of its commissioner Eric Ulrich last week, one day after he met with prosecutors from the DA’s office  for an investigation that he might have possible ties with organized crime and illegal gambling (see more in the New York Times). The DOB just announced that for now Deputy Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik, P.E., will serve as acting commissioner.

The change of commissioner comes at a very busy time for the DOB as since Today the new 2022 NYC Construction Codes goes into effect

The 2022 NYC Construction Code includes 600 major updates and thousands of smaller changes that are supposed to improve safety and incorporate the latest building technologies. It is the largest comprehensive revision of the code since 2014.

Published on:

2 hard hats died during the first quarter of 2022 and 110 of them were injured while working on construction sites in New York City. Both fatalities were fall accidents, both occurred in Brooklyn and both were preventable.

The first fatality occurred on February 11. Angel Pilataxi, a father of 3 children and 3 step children fell to his death at a construction site located at 124 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn. According to the DOB investigation,  the worker was taking measurements on the edge of the roof on the eighth floor when the accident happened. He was not using a safety harness and fell over the parapet. He was found unconscious lying on the second floor terrace. He did not survive. Investigators found that the worker and a co-worker who was working with him at the time of the accident not only did not have a site safety training card but also did not receive any site-specific safety training and did not participate in a pre-shit meeting in the morning. At the time of the accident a full stop order was issued and the DOB issued a violation failure to safeguard persons and property affected by the construction operations.

The second fatal accident occurred on a construction site located at 295 St John’s Place on March 21st. A rigging foreman who was installing a suspended scaffolding go caught between the fire stairs and the scaffold, lost his balance and fell fifteen feet onto a metal fence. He died from his injuries. A full stop work was issued and the DOB also issued a violation for failure to safeguard person and property affected by construction.

Published on:

NYC Construction Safety WeekFalls are the main cause of  injuries and deaths for construction workers in New York City and most of them can be prevented.

A large safety awareness campaign is going on this week in New York City to reduce accidents on construction sites, with a focus on fall accidents.

Construction Safety Week is a yearly safety campaign organized by the NYC Department of Buildings to remind workers and their employers and families that safety best practices on construction sites prevent accident injuries and deaths.

Published on:

fall prevention posterLast year, 7 out of the 9 NYC construction worker deaths reported by the Department of Buildings were caused by falls. Additionnally the DOB also reported that 194 workers were injured in fall accidents on New York City construction sites during the same period. This was a record high compared to the previous years (see previous blog). Despite increased safety training requirements for workers, fall remains the number one cause of accident deaths and injuries in the New York construction industry and nationally as well. According to the most recent statistics from the BLS 351 out of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded nationally in 2020 were fall fatalities. Most of these accidents were preventable.

Preventing fall accidents is the reason why, every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in collaboration with multiple other partners involved in workplace safety such as the CPWR and NORA are organizing a National Stand Down during which employers are invited to voluntarily take a break from work and sit down with their workers to discuss or participate to activities  related to fall hazards.

Anyone can participate and every year sees more and more participants from major corporate construction companies to small contractors, including the US Army and other governmental participants. All employers  participating receive a certificate.

Published on:

440 HarmanA Nassau contractor whose negligence caused the death of a 5 year old child in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2019 has been indicted on  manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records. He is due back in court in May.

Alysson Pinto-Chauman had her skull crushed in front of her mom

The accident occurred on August 29 2019. 5 year old Alysson Pinto-Chaumana was with her mom and a group of friends standing in front of the high wall of a property located on Harman Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn when part of the wall suddenly collapsed on the toddler. Her skull was crushed in the accident. Her mom who was standing next to her witnessed the entire scene and said the vision will be engraved in her memory forever.

Published on:

https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpBuilding owners, contractors or other construction professionals that do not respect construction safety rules put workers and civilians at risk of accidents. To prevent misconduct, the NYC Department of Buildings conducts thousands of inspections and bad actors are sanctioned. A list of the main sanctions is published monthly by the DOB. What comes out of the January DOB Enforcement Action Bulletin is that sadly, in New York City, endangering the life of construction workers comes at a much cheaper price tag than displaying advertising in illegal locations or being an illegal Airbnb host.

Here are the highest penalties issued by the NYC Department of Buildings in January:

  • The owner of a two-family building located at 29 Marconi Place in Brooklyn received the highest fine with a total of $74,250 in penalties.  After a fire erupted on location, a DOB investigation found that the owner had illegally converted the property to add 4 single-room occupancy units. The construction work was effectuated without a permit and the owner failed to comply with previous orders from the DOB to legalize the conditions at the property.
Published on:

OSHA logoAfter a hard hat fatally fell 60 feet during demolition work on one of its construction sites, Richmond Construction, based in Queens, NYC, was hit by a $374,603 OSHA fine. This is the second highest OSHA fine for the last quarter of  2021.

Last May, a 49 year old worker hired by Richmond Construction was working on the demolition of the Flatbush Bank Building in Brooklyn. He had just finished breaking apart a section of the roof with a jackhammer and was  walking on the top of the exposed side when a piece of concrete on which he was standing broke apart. The man fell 60 feet down to the ground and died. The worker was not using proper safety equipment and had no training to execute such a dangerous job.

The OSHA investigators found that Richmond Construction failed to provide lifesaving fall protection and did not train employees to recognize and avoid fall hazards. The contractor was cited for 9 willful, repeat and serious violations including:

Published on:

construction workers working at height in NYCTo reduce construction accidents in New York City and make sure New Yorkers and construction workers are protected, New York City Building Laws are constantly updated to adapt to actual situations.  Last year, a major update of the NYC construction code led to more than 600 significant changes and thousands of smaller ones. Here is a list of some of the laws that are affecting construction safety on work sites, building inspection requirements, and property maintenance:

  • Local Law 74 of 2021 was updated in regards to fences at stalled construction sites: chain link fences should be installed at sites where work was discontinued and all equipment and material posing hazards were removed.
  • Local Law 119 of 2021 extends the application period for certification of no harassment  pilot program
Published on:

Man-working-on-tubular-scaffold-scaledAfter a 21 year old worker fell to his death on a Brooklyn construction site, Everest Scaffolding, a NYC roofing company located in the Bronx, received a $300,370 OSHA  fine. This fine was the second largest OSHA fine of Q2 2021 . The accident related to the fine occurred on November 13, 2020. The young worker was installing a supported tubular welded frame scaffold during the construction of a seven-story building in Brooklyn when he fell almost 50 feet and died.

OSHA investigators found that:

  • the roofing company did not evaluate the feasibility of using fall protection
Published on:

A total of 5 construction workers lost their life on the job in New York City between April 1st and June 31st . Since 2015, this is only the second time that construction fatalities recorded by the NYC Department of Buildings during the second quarter reached such a high number. The other time was in 2019. 2 fatalities occurred in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, one in the Bronx and one in Queens. 3 of the fatalities were falls and two were related to mechanical construction equipment. The last two weeks of May were particularly deadly. On May 19th, at around 8:20 am, two workers were cleaning debris on the 5th floor of a construction site located at 20 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. They loaded a new elevator car with the debris, got in the car with the debris and proceeded to head downstairs. The elevator had a mechanical failure and the car fell from the fifth floor. One of the workers was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and the second was injured and transported to the hospital. Three days later in Queens, a deadly accident occurred when two workers were instructed to use an extension ladder from the sixth floor chimney shaft to the roof. One of the workers said he heard a “crush sound” as he was at the second or third step of the ladder and turned around, he didn’t see anything so he kept going and took the ladder by himself to the roof. His colleague was found dead almost two hours later on the second floor. He had fell in an elevator shaft. 5 days later on May 27th, a hard hat who was working on a roof during a demolition job, fell to his death at a construction site located at 1045 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Two other workers died earlier in April, one of them came in contact with a live wire and was fatally electrocuted on a Manhattan construction site located at 555 West 22nd Street and the other one fell to his death from a dangerous scaffolding installation at a construction site located at East 53rd Street in Brooklyn.  These recent fatalities were so alarming that the DOB organized a massive sweep of all major construction sites in the city and temporarily closed hundreds of them for not respecting safety standards. (see previous blog).

Hard hat fatalities NYC Q2 2021
Falls remain the number one cause of fatal construction accidents in New York City. Again during Q2, 3 of the 5 fatalities were fall. Most of the time fall fatalities are the result of negligence by the contractor and could have been prevented. Fatalities often occur on sites that have a history of violations and complaints, for example, the construction site located at 1200 East 53rd Street in Brooklyn has so far recorded a total of 30 complaints, 50 DOB Violations including 8 open and 40 OATH/ECB violations including an open one for failing to notify the DOB after the death of the worker. A stop work order is still active at this location. The site located at 45-18 Court Square in Queens previously logged in 53 complaints, 54 DOB violations including 3 open and 39 OATH/ECB violations including 11 open. Before the deadly accident occurred at this site, the contractor was fined for failing to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations. This violation is still open. The same goes for the site located at 1045 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn which as of Today has a stop work order with 20 OATH/ECB violations open, most of them of the highest severity. Hard hats working on construction sites that are unsafe have a much higher risk to die in a construction accident.

Construction worker fatalities by type of accidents Q2 NYC
The number of construction workers injured on the job was a little lower than usual during the second quarter. A total of 144 workers suffered injury in construction accidents in New York City during the 3-month period of April, May, June 2021 compared to respectively, 68, 150, 233, 170, 171 and 134 during the same period of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.  Last year the numbers were lower because of the Covid19 lockdown and we can not compare them to any other year. Manhattan had the most injuries, followed by Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.