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 New York Construction Accident

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NYCOSH logo236 workers, many of them construction workers died on the job in New York in 2015, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As recent Congressional actions have been pushing for the deregulation of workers safety rules, these disturbing statistics may even get worse.

In an effort to fight back, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) recently announced that it has joined a national campaign for workplace safety. Entitled “Protecting Workers’Lives & Limbs” the campaign launched by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has already rallied 92 groups across the country.

The goals of the campaign are to make sure that workers health and safety stay a priority and to insure that all workers are protected including illegal immigrant workers. The campaign will work on eliminating disparities, reduce the use of toxic chemicals at work, make sure workers have access to quality medical treatments and fair wage replacement benefits. It will also focus on getting a better count of injuries and illnesses on the workplace as many workers still fear retaliation from employers if they report their injuries.  The complete campaign agenda can be downloaded here.

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Construction_Accident31 people died in construction accidents in New York over the last 2 years. Injuries from construction accidents recorded by the New York City Department of Buildings increased by 250% from 2011 to 2015.  The recent construction boom in the city has contributed to this increase in hard hats deaths and injuries.

In a recent opinion in the New York Times, Dominique Bravo, director of Pathways 2 Apprenticeships, expressed his outrage at the laissez-faire attitude in regards to safety regulations in the New York construction industry. Bravo notes that while the number of construction permits issued by the DOB increased by 18% between 2100 and 2014 the number of OSHA inspectors in New York State decreased by 13% during the same period of time. They are only 71 OSHA inspectors for the entire State of New York.

INADEQUATE FALL PROTECTION IS THE MOST COMMON VIOLATION

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carlos moncayoForeman Wilmer Cueva negligent act caused the death of New York construction worker Carlos Moncayo. Wilmer Cueva, a foreman for Sky Material, an excavation company, was supervising work at a construction site located on 9th Ave in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan.

As the excavation of the site was progressing, Cueva received repeated warnings of imminent danger by an inspector. The trench that had reached 7 feet was not reinforced as it should have been. The NYC construction code requires that any trench reaching 5 feet be reinforced. Cueva ignored the warnings and the code and asked workers to continue to excavate.

The trench was 14 feet and still wasn’t reinforced when it collapsed on Carlos Moncayo. The accident was foreseeable and preventable and Wilmer Cueva acted in a criminal manner. He was was convicted of Criminally Negligent Homicide and Reckless Endangerment by a York State Supreme Court jury. He will be sentenced in December.

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construction workerThe New York City Department of Buildings announced earlier this year that 12 people died in  construction accidents in New York City in 2015 but the real number is 18. According to a recent article in Crain’s, the New York City Department of Buildings only counts deaths that are related to a violation of the city’s construction code.

Despite being featured by media and investigated by OSHA, all other deaths on NYC construction sites are not counted as construction accident deaths  in the DOB statistics. This obviously doesn’t make much sense. The DOB numbers are a distorted indication of the level of safety on New York construction sites.

Among the deaths that the city didn’t count were a hard hat who fell to his death in an elevator shaft,  a safety coordinator crushed by a crane, a worker who fell from a ladder and a truck driver who was sucked into a concrete truck shaft. Following these deaths, OSHA issued safety violations for each case. However the DOB didn’t and also didn’t add them to the total number of New York City construction accident deaths in 2015.

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New York Construction SiteNew York has the sixth lowest construction worker injury rate in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite being among the safest cities for hard hats, working on a New York City construction site remains one of the riskiest occupations in the City.

According to “The price of Life, 2015 report on construction fatalities in NYC” released by The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), construction work accounts only for 4%  of employment but for 20% of occupational fatalities in New York State. As in the rest of the nation, falls to a lower level are the number one cause of death on New York construction sites. Almost half of the fatalities on NYC construction sites are related to falls from Heights.

Roofing and siding workers doing construction work at an elevation are the most at risk of a fatal fall.  These workers are often working in an unsafe environment. 80% of New York roofing and siding contractors who received a visit from an OSHA inspector between 2010 and 2012 received violations.

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Hard HatTwo hard hats were severely injured in a construction accident in New York. The accident occurred this morning on a construction site located at 21 West 86th Street near Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side. The two men were working on a door frame when it fell. The two workers lost their balance and fell 10 feet below into the basement below. After that an I-Beam fell on them. One of the men suffered a bad leg injury and the other one was also badly hurt. They were both transported to the hospital. A stop work order was issued at the site by the NYC Department of Buildings. From looking at photographs of the scene it is clear the there was no planking covering the hazardous opening as is required by The New York State Industrial Code to protect workers performing work in the area of the opening to prevent these types of accidents.

Read more in the NY Daily News

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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35 Perry Street aerialConstruction workers and residents living nearby a West Village townhouse in Manhattan were put at risk of a deadly collapse by a greedy homeowner. Inspectors from the New York City Department of Buildings who responded to a complaint at 35 Perry Street found a giant illegal excavation in the backyard. The excavation that was 7 feet deep in some areas was hidden by a fake grass carpet. The fake floor was suspended in a canopy style over the excavation. The owner, Joseph Ienco, had no construction permit. The excavation not only compromised the base of the 1,852 structure but also the foundation of 37 Perry Street. The owner put his workers and his neighbors at risk of a deadly construction accident. He was slapped with several safety violations. The inspectors also found illegal workers hiding in the house and a rental truck used to move debris out of the site.

Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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Three_World_Trade_Center_-_2015_renderThankfully nobody was injured in a New York crane accident last Thursday. Construction workers at the WTC site were pulling the unloaded line and hook of a crane standing on the top of a building under construction when the accident happened. The workers had been instructed to do so as a safety measure before a coming storm. A gust of wind sent a weighted ball attached to the crane’s line into a glass panel of the 3 World Trade Center building. Nobody was injured as the accident happened in the restricted perimeter of the WTC construction site.  John Gallager, the spokesman for  Tishman Construction said in a statement to the press that the glass window would be replaced and that the accident was being investigated.Read more in CBS New York

Wind and storms have been the cause of many crane accidents in New York City. Last February, David Wichs, who’s family is represented by our NYC crane accident attorney Howard  Hershenhorn, lost his life after the wind caused a giant crane to collapse on him. After the accident the city immediately increased mandatory safety measures for crane operators and created a special team to work on additional measures to prevent such accidents.

Picture: rendering of 3 World Trade Center courtesy of Wikipedia

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Cy VanceLast year 22 year old Carlos Moncayo died in a  construction accident in New York. The young worker was crushed to death by a collapsing  wall on the site of the former Pastis restaurant in the Meatpacking district, in lower Manhattan, NYC. Prior to the accident, Harco, the contractor, had been warned by an  independent engineer  that the construction site was unsafe and that it should be closed.  The contractor refused and Carlos died. (See previous blogs here and here)

A coalition of 22  groups including District Attorney Vance and then Building Trade Employers’ Association (BTEA) are asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence on  Harco.  Harco was found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment by Judge A. Kirke Bartley.  The D.A.  Also requested that the contractor pay for an advertising campaign to promote  worker safety this fall in New York.

Read more in the Real Deal 

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A man was seriously injured after a piece of plywood from a security fence at a  construction site fell on him. The man was walking on the sidewalk at the South East  corner of 30th St. and Fifth Avenue in NYC yesterday around 4 PM when the accident happened. An 8 feet long piece of plywood that was not properly secured fell on him, knocking him down to the ground. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.  See video below for more.

A similar accident happened in the West Village at the beginning of the year. A woman who was passing by was killed by a piece of plywood that detached from a construction site security fence. See previous blog