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 wrongfull death

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Trench and excavation accident prevention infographicConstruction workers who are working in trenching and excavation are exposed to extremely dangerous hazards resulting most of the time from collapse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 130 hard hats died in trenching and excavation accidents between 2011 and 2016.

Half of these fatalities occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Among the 130 dead workers, 104 were working for the private construction industry and among them 40 died at industrial places and premises, 39 died at private residence sites and 21 died at streets or highways construction sites.

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Fall Prevention Campaign887 workers lost their life after falling at their job sites in 2017 according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the highest number of fall deaths ever recorded by the BLS since the agency started to track these numbers almost 30 years ago. Fall fatalities account for 17% of all job-related fatalities and 40% of all construction job-related fatalities.

The most at risk are often construction workers with little training and experience who have been hired to work on construction sites after the recent boom in construction led to a labor force shortage in the industry. 60% of construction workers who died in a fall in 2017 were working for small companies (1 to 10 workers). As a comparison small construction companies only hire a third of the workforce in the construction industry in the US. Small companies are often hired for residential construction, a sector where fatal falls more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. Hispanic workers are the most at risk of dying in a fall accident. Language barrier, little training and also the fear of immigration authorities preventing undocumented workers to report dangerous conditions to OSHA are among the factors that led Hispanic workers to perform some of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry.

Fall related violations are the most common OSHA violations

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37 pedestrians and one bicyclist were among the 50 victims who died in NYC traffic accidents last fall (September, October, November).  This is 15 less accident fatalities than in the fall of 2015,  21 less than in the fall of 2014 and 34 less than in the fall of 2013. Since 2013, the number of people dying on the road has been decreasing each fall in the city.

While less people are dying in NYC car accidents, more are getting injured. After recording a decline in 2014, the number of people injured in traffic accidents during the fall months went back up slightly in 2015  and reached its highest in 2016. 15,480 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the 3-month period of September, October and November  2016 compared to 13,693 during the same period of 2015, 13,350 during the same period of 2014 and 14,449 during the same period of 2013.

The total number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City is continuing to rise as well.

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Near Missed event visualized with BMI20% of  the workers who die at work are construction workers but they represent only 4% of the employed workforce in the US. Hard hats are among the workers that have the most risk of being injured or even dying on the job. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable.

As technology develops, the construction industry has been relying more and more on Building Information Modeling (BIM) to develop its projects. BIM is used throughout the life cycle of a construction project to digitally monitor the design, the plan and the construction itself. BIM can also be used for safety management.

A recent short study published by the Center For Construction Research and Training shows how “near miss accidents” can be visualized in Building Information Modeling.  The authors of the study are Dr Eric Marks and Xu Chen from the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama.  Dr Eric Marks recently hosted a free 30 min CPWR Webinar on this subject. The webinar can be seen here.

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truck speeding1,000 people die in truck accidents related to speed every year in the US. If truck drivers weren’t able to drive faster than 60 mph, the NHTSA estimated that half of these people would be alive. For almost 10 years most trucks in the world have been equipped with electronic technology that can limit their speed but so far US truck operators have not been legally required to use this system. Few of them are using them. Schneider National, a truck carrier from Wisconsin is one of the only companies to use them on all its trucks for two decades. Traffic safety advocates and industry trade groups have been pushing for truck and bus companies to use this safety device for years.

Finally last month, the NHTSA released proposed rules to mandate electronic speed limiters in all trucks and buses with a weight equal or bigger than 13 tons. The NHTSA is not sure yet if they also want to apply these rules to the vehicles already on the roads. They are also hesitant in the choice of the speed limit. Should it be 68 mph, 65, mph or 60 mph? Traffic safety advocates want the lowest speed because it potentially saves more lives but independent truckers who are paid by the number of loads delivered see the speed limiter as a decrease in their income. They argue that a truck that goes slower than the rest of the traffic also causes risks of accidents.

In the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, electronic speed limiters are mandatory and must be set at 65 mph. In Europe, electronic speed limiters have been mandatory since 1993 for big trucks of 13 tons and more. The European Commission is planning to introduce the same regulation for smaller trucks as well.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for  2014.   There where 4,659 fatal work injuries  in 2014.   This is the highest number of fatalities since 2011.

This high number of deaths on work sites is mostly explained by a revitalized economy and a decline in the unemployment rate in 2014. The rate of  workers fatalities stayed the same as the previous  year with 3.3 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Over the long term, the rate of worker fatalities has been slowly decreasing over the years indicating safer work conditions globally.

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40% of the fatalities were caused by a transportation accident. Among transportation related fatalities, more than half  of them where accidents on roadways. Accidents involving pedestrian workers being struck by vehicles represented the second  largest category of fatal occupational injuries caused by transportation accidents.