A construction worker suffered critical injury in a ladder accident in New York. The accident happened on a construction site located on W. 17th Street near Sixth Ave in the Flatiron district in Manhattan. The hard hat was standing on a ladder, installing sheet rock on a ceiling frame when the accident happened. The worker who was not wearing a harness fell 50 feet down an elevator shaft and was impaled on steel rebar. The pieces of rebar pierced his abdomen, back, thigh, buttock and groin. Flagrant construction site safety violations are to blame for the accident. According to a primary investigation by the New York City Department of Buildings, the hard hat was not wearing a mandatory security harness. Adding to that, the elevator shaft wasn’t covered and there were no orange safety caps on the top of the rebar. This is the reason it is so important to fight against any changes in Section 240(1) of the New York State Labor Law which hold owners, general contractors and others liable for injures resulting from a lack of safety devices in height related accidents.
The construction site has a history of unsafe working conditions. The owner and developer, 34 17th Street Project LLC, was fined last August for “failure to maintain the building in a code complaint manner” and unsafe or improper use of elevator or hoisting equipment at the same location. The violation indicated that the hoistway doors wer not secured “causing an immediate hazard that could cause someone to fall down the shaftway”. In November nothing had changed and 34 17th Street Project LLC was fined for “failing to certify correction of an immediately hazardous violation”.
New Empire Builder Corp, the general contractor who is managing the site also has a history of violations. In 2014 OSHA inspectors responded to a complaint at 286 Spring Street, New York, NY. They found hard hats working in extremely unsafe conditions. Some workers were standings on scaffolding resting on bricks. A worker was standing 10 feet above ground on a scaffold with no fall safety equipment while raising material on a pulley. Furthermore other workers were at risk of being electrocuted while using an ungrounded electric cement mixer. The contractor was fined $19,600.