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:

By the nature of their work, construction workers have a high risk of getting injured in accidents on NYC construction sites. Now many of them are facing another deadly threat as they have recently been asked to return to work after the State expanded the list of “essential building work” from hospitals, affordable housing and infrastructure projects to schools, hotels, restaurants, banks, convenience stores, appliance stores and storage facilities among others as long as ground has already been broken.

As a results thousands of construction sites are kept open in the city putting at risk construction workers and their families to catch the deadly virus.

Profit ahead of safety

Published on:

1 worker died and 158 others were injured on construction sites in New York City during the first quarter of 2020  compared to respectively 0 and 137 for the same period of 2019.  When looking at a 5 year period, the first trimester of 2018  was the worst for New York City construction workers with  170 of them sustaining injuries and 3 of them dying in accidents.

Most accidents resulting in injuries occurred in Manhattan  with 96 workers injured, followed by Brooklyn, 35, Queens, 14 and the Bronx, 13. No injuries were reported in Staten Island during the first trimester. With the exception of Staten Island all other boroughs recorded an increase in construction accident injuries during the the first 3 months of this year compared to the same period a year earlier.

NYC Construction Accident Injuries 2020 Q1
Working on construction sites is one of the most dangerous activities in New York and in the US.  The Department of Buildings classify injuries in 6 different categories. The largest category is “Other”. Injuries in this category are usually not life threatening or not critical. Many of them are small cuts and lacerations that do not require ambulance transportation or hospitalization. Most of the time a visit to an emergency call center is sufficient to treat the injury. It is also rare that a safety violation is issued after these types of injuries.  The second largest category of NYC construction accident injuries are  injuries related to falls. Falls often result in serious injuries. An ambulance is often called and workers end up most of the time at the hospital after a fall. Most fall injuries could be prevented if workers were fully protected. During the first quarter of 2020, 45 hart hats were injured in falls in New York. This is the highest number of fall injuries recorded during the first quarter over the last 5 years. Another very common cause of injuries is when material fell onto workers. 12 workers were injured in that manner during the first three months of the year compared to  respectively 22, 21, 23 and 10 during the same period of 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. 6 people were also injured in scaffolds accidents and 2 sustained injuries related to mechanical construction equipment.

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