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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 New York Construction Accident

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Location-of-the-actual-tunnelsA group of New York contractors are asking US Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to waive the NY Scaffold Law on the Hudson River Project.

Fall is the number one cause of fatalities among construction workers in New York City and nationwide. Most of these fatalities are preventable and are the result of negligence. In New York,  the Scaffold Safety Law ensures that New York construction workers and their family  are being fully protected if they are injured or killed while working on scaffolds, ladders or other similar devices. If a contractor violates this law by not providing adequate safety equipment to his workers and if as a result, a worker dies or sustains injuries, the contractor will be liable for the accident and a lawsuit can be brought against him by the construction worker or by his family.

In the case of the Hudson Tunnel project, a group of contractors consisting of  the Minority & Women Contractors & Developers Association, the Associated General Contractors of New York State and the General Contractors Association of New York as well as the New York Sate Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials have asked  the US Transportation Secretary to  replace the New York Scaffold Safety Law with a comparative negligence standard. They argue that the New York Scaffold increases their insurance cost.

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fall fatalities in NYC 2020A hard hat died after he fell from the 16th floor at a construction site in Manhattan. The 52 year old worker was a unionized sheet metal worker who had been with Local 28 for 24 years. He was doing doing some work at the NYU Ambulatory Care Center located on 41st Street between Third and Second Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The Medical Center is open to patients but some construction is still going on inside and outside. The DOB told the media that the fall was not related to the construction going on inside the building. The worker arrived at the Medical Center at 6:30 am last Friday morning and went to the back of the building and took a hoist elevator that runs at the exterior of the building. Two hours later the man fell and was found lying dead on the ground at the back of the building. The DOT is still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

Eric Meslin, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 president and business manager  told the News “I worked with him personally back when we had tools on. He was a good guy to be around,” Meslin said. “He had a big personality. It’s hitting our members hard.”

Falls are the number one cause of construction workers fatalities. Last year among the 8 construction workers fatalities reported by the New York City Department of Buildings, 4 of them were falls. (see previous blog)

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construction NYCThankfully nobody was injured after a loose cable on a spinning crane hit a building under construction sending giant metal debris down the streets in Midtown Manhattan yesterday night around 7 PM and creating chaos.

The metal pieces fell from the 84th floor of  a high rise under construction at 111 West 57th Street. The spinning crane at the top of the building first  caused concerns that it could be loose or unstable but later on firefighters noticed that a cable hanging from the spinning boom was constantly hitting the building, destroying it and sending pieces of metal down the street near the intersection of 6th Avenue and 56th Street.

A crane crew was then sent up and the crane operator was able to get into the crane and secure the loose cable. The DOT issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard public and property construction operations.

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Building that collapsed in ManhattanAnother building partially collapsed in Manhattan yesterday, The building that hosts a mix of residences and commercial spaces is located at 211 East 34th Street. It was completely empty and was undergoing construction work. Around 11:30 am yesterday morning a first part of the wall collapsed followed an hour later by another collapse.

Nobody was injured but the street was closed by the police and the residents of an adjacent  building were evacuated for safety.

The collapsed occurred in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan a few blocks away from another deadly construction accident that occurred a few hours later and during which a piece of parapet detached from the roof and landed on a hanging scaffolding, killing one construction worker and injuring 3 others.

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location-of-the-fatal-scaffolding-accidentA construction worker died and 3 others were injured in a scaffolding accident in Manhattan. The accident occurred yesterday afternoon around 4:20pm at a 12 story condo building located at 136 East 36th Street near Lexington Ave in Murray Hill.

According to witnesses, two hard hats on a suspended scaffold were repairing the facade at the 11th floor level when a piece of the parapet fell into the suspended scaffolding. In a chain reaction, the rig then fell onto the street shed, destroying it.

According to the Daily News a 50 year old worker died in the accident. 2 other workers suffered serious injury and are in critical condition. Another one suffered minor injury.

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IMG_3253-e1580916956170Two years ago, Harry Ramnauh was crushed to death by a glass panel at a Manhattan construction site. He was a security guard at the construction site of the $3 billion Luxury Central Park Tower which when completed will be the tallest residential building in the world. Reaching 112 floors and a height of 1,550 feet, it is also the most expensive development in New York City. Apartments are listed at up to $63 million with a total projected sellout of $4 billion. (see building under construction on the right side of the picture)

Contractor argues that “failure to safeguard the public” doesn’t apply because the victim was a worker

After the death of the security guard, The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued several citations to Lendlease, the general contractor for the construction of the residential tower.  Lendlease successfully fought most of the violations and recently filed another petition against the DOB and the Office of Administration Trials and Hearings  arguing that one of the citations, “failure to safeguard the public during construction”, doesn’t apply to the case because the victim was not a member of the public but a worker at the construction site. Lendlease also argues that the violation was issued based on an inspection that occurred 3 days after the accident and therefore it didn’t reflect the conditions at the time of the fatal construction accident.

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craneAfter two successive crane accidents in New York including one fatal, the company United Crane and Rigging was temporary barred from continuing work at 22 construction sites in the city. The NYC DOB will allow the company to restart work only after it replaces some of the employees involved in the recent accidents that occurred on July 30 in the East Village and in April in Soho. On July 30, the company had a crane working at a site located at 749 FDR Drive. The operator of the crane was lifting steel beans when the boom of the crane bent and partially collapsed. The operator then lost control of the load which struck the building before falling on the ground. Thankfully nobody was injured but investigators found that the load lifted by the crane weighted 4,400 pounds while the maximum lifting capacity was 3,700 pounds. Back in April,  34 year old Gregory Echevarria, a war hero who served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan died and two other construction workers were injured after a counterweight fell and crushed him during a crane installation by the same operator (see previous blog).

To be able to restart work on its 22 construction sites, United Crane and Rigging has to provide proof to the NYC Department of Buildings that the engineer of record, master rigger, lift director, assembly and disassembly and hoisting machine operators have all been replaced with new staff. Additionally the company also has to hire an independent monitor who will report to the DOB on United Crane and Rigging’s safety compliance.The negligent crane company was also hit with 5 DOB violations for:

  1. inadequate safety measures on site
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Gregory EchevarriaA NYC hard hat who was installing a crane died after the counter weight he was setting fell on him.

34 year old Gregory Echevarria was part of a crew installing a crane at a luxury residential development located at 570 Broome Street in Soho early Saturday morning. A little bit after 3:00 am the crane counterweight that Echevarria was installing slipped and fatally struck him. The crew immediately called 911. When the EMS crew arrived they found him unresponsive with severe injuries all over his body. He was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Two other workers were also injured in the accident.  People who were in the area at the time of the accident reported a very loud sound as the 7.5 ton counterweight fell.

After the accident the crane was moved and a stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings. The 570 Broom project is being built by  Agime Group. KSK Construction Group is managing the construction project. The DOB previously received several safety complaints for the site.

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311 E. 50th Street scaffolding accident locationA stone fell on the head of a NYC construction worker and killed him on Monday. 51 year old Nelson Salinas from Queens was on a scaffold, repairing the facade of  an Upper East Side residential building in Manhattan when the accident occurred.   A delivery man saw him dangling in midair with his head covered in blood and called 911. The worker was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

Nelson Salinas who was employed by Vlad Restoration, was performing minor facade repair on a suspended scaffold system. He was located at the 7th floor level of the 14-story building locates at 311 E. 50th Street near Second Ave when a coping stone that may have been knocked loose by the equipment used to secure the scaffolding to the facade fell on his head.  According to the Department of Buildings investigators the stone was a piece of the building’s parapet.  Read more about the accident in the NY Daily News

Preventing NYC Scaffold Accidents

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carbon monoxide danger signNine construction workers were hospitalized after they suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning last week in Manhattan. The construction workers were putting down concrete in a very small confined space in the foundations of a construction site located at 30 E. 29th St. in Manhattan. The site is the future location of a 639-foot-tall luxury residential art Deco-Inspired skyscraper developed by the Rockefeller Group.
A gasoline generator that was also running in the same space to provide electrical power poisoned the workers with carbon monoxide fumes. Gasoline generators that are releasing carbon monoxide are not supposed to be used indoors or in places that are not ventilated. Carbon monoxide can not be smelled but it can kill in minutes.  Warning signs of Carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu or cold symptoms and include weakness, fainting, dizziness, headache, nausea and shortness of breath.
The FDNY received a first call for a sick worker around 4:30 pm. The worker was feeling ill and dizzy. When they arrived other workers who had been able to get out of the underground space by themselves were also feeling sick. Two of their colleagues however were so ill that they had to be lifted up by the firefighters. A total of 65 firefighters and paramedics had to be called to the rescue to extricate the workers safely from the confined space.