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5 Biggest Dangers on a Construction Site

workers compensation lawyerConstruction sites can be dangerous places. In fact, construction deaths account for one in five out of all work-related deaths in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). In 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, 93 workers per week lost their lives in work-related accidents and mishaps. More than 20% were in construction.

Figures in New York City itself have risen drastically. In the 2014-2015 year, New York City alone witnessed 10 construction-related deaths, nearly double the average of the previous four years.

What are the biggest dangers on construction sites? Here is a round-up of the top five.

1. Falls

Falls are by far the largest danger on construction sites. OSHA compiles a list of the “fatal four” – the top four causes of death on construction sites. Falls constitute nearly 39% of deaths on construction sites.

Falls can happen nearly anywhere on a construction site, including from scaffolding or the building itself, from one story to the next through gaps or open construction areas, or from ladders or other equipment.

Safety equipment to prevent falls, such as harnesses and helmets, is highly recommended to prevent injuries and deaths from fall. There is evidence, however, that some construction companies skimp on these safety precautions.

2. Struck by object

“Strike-bys” are the second biggest hazard on construction sites, making up nearly 10% of deaths. The objects include moving equipment, such as trucks, or construction equipment or materials, such as beams. “Strike-bys” are the second of the fatal four.

3. Electrocution

Electrocution is the third biggest hazard, causing more than 8% of construction-related deaths. Some of these are caused by interface with overhead power lines and some by other hazards, such as incomplete electrical wiring.

Electrocution is the third of the fatal four.

4. Caught between

“Caught between” is a term OSHA uses for construction or other employees who have been caught between equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment, or materials. This category is responsible for more than 7% of construction-related deaths every year.

“Caught between” is the final fatal four.

5. Lack of fall protection

The sad thing about many accidents and deaths on construction sites is that many are preventable with greater attention to safety precautions, including standard fall protection equipment, such as helmets and harnesses.

Lack of fall protection on sites was the  most frequently violated OSHA standard on sites last year.

If You Need a Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned construction accident attorneys, with decades of experience fighting for construction workers in Long Island and New York City.

Our initial consultation is free. We see you at no charge, and discuss your case and routes open to you. Call 1-800-469-7429 to talk with an experienced New York City and Long Island construction accident lawyer today. We charge NO FEES unless we win your case!

More information on construction site hazards:

  1. Chen, David W. “Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York.” New York Times. November 26, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/nyregion/rise-in-new-york-construction-deaths-strikes-the-poor-and-undocumented.html.
  2. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Commonly Used Statistics. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/nyregion/rise-in-new-york-construction-deaths-strikes-the-poor-and-undocumented.html.
  3. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA Quick Card. Top Four Construction Hazards. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/nyregion/rise-in-new-york-construction-deaths-strikes-the-poor-and-undocumented.html.

Bystanders Escape with Their Lives After Manhattan Crane Accident

Crane Accident

On May 31, 2015, a crane accident in Midtown Manhattan inflicted injuries on 10 people. However, the accident could have been much worse had any pedestrians been directly underneath the falling equipment. No fatalities were reported and the 10 people who were injured, including two construction workers and five bystanders, sustained only minor injuries.

Four of the victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment of their lacerations, while the rest refused medical attention. It is not yet known if any of the New Yorkers plan to file a crane accident lawsuit. However, victims who do plan to seek compensation should get medical attention immediately to document their injuries.

Unfortunately, when construction workers are injured, workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. A New York crane accident lawyer at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help victims explore other avenues of compensation, such as filing a lawsuit against negligent supervisors, or the company that leased the crane or other defective equipment.

Crane accident under investigation

The crane accident occurred at 10:43 A.M. on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The crane had been lifting a heating and air conditioning unit to the roof of the building. The unit weighed several tons. For reasons that are still under investigation, the unit broke free of the crane and fell 30 stories. As it fell, it scraped the building, which dislodged dangerous debris including glass, metal, and concrete. In addition to causing injuries on passersby, the falling debris likely caused property damage when it fell onto passing vehicles.

Had the crane accident occurred on a weekday instead of on a Sunday, it is likely that many more people would have suffered injuries.

Crane accident claims

Should any of the victims of this Manhattan crane accident decide to file a lawsuit, there are a few factors a NY personal injury lawyer may consider. In investigating the accident, the lawyer may determine that the crane operators or other construction workers may have had inadequate training. Inadequate supervision, poor coordination of work, and poor communication between employees may have also contributed to the accident.

In some crane accidents, it may be found that the equipment was defective or improperly maintained.

Construction accident victims can suffer a range of serious injuries, including back and spinal cord injuries that may lead to paralysis.

Other possible crane accident injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Amputation of limbs
  • Electrocution injuries

NY personal injury lawyers stand up for your legal rights

At the Long Island personal injury law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our attorneys have been defending the rights of New Yorkers since 1952. We can assist victims of crane accidents on Long Island and beyond by using our aggressive approach to litigation to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.

Victims of construction falls, crane accidents, heavy equipment injuries or other worksite accidents can contact our personal injury law firm at 1.800.469.7429 to claim a free, no-obligation case review. Since time is limited to file a claim, New Yorkers who have sustained injuries in crane accidents are urged to contact us immediately to discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Eight Construction Workers in Brooklyn Fall Through Third Floor to Ground

Brooklyn Construction Accident - Eight Workers Fall Through FloorEight construction workers in Brooklyn fell more than twenty-five feet from the third floor before hitting the ground. According to the New York Daily News, a neighbor recounted, “I saw a few guys go in, and I remember telling them, ‘Be careful because the building is unstable.’ Later, I saw a guy running out to get his cellphone from his car to call 911. They were working in there. I could hear.”

The workers may contact a New York construction accident attorney to inquire as to whether or not a lawsuit is warranted.

Brooklyn construction site accident

Apparently, the workers and the owner of the construction company ignored the neighbor’s prophetic warning and entered the building. While working on the third floor, at about 1:00 p.m., the structure gave way and eight men fell with the collapsed floor through the second floor building components before hitting the ground level. Paramedics arrived on the scene and pulled the men from the decrepit structure.

Another neighbor recounted the scene, “A lot of men were laying on the ground,” she said. “Some were bleeding. They were taken out of the building. It was bad.”

Reportedly, “None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.” However, according to the Daily News, the “workers were seriously injured,” and some of the men were taken to Kings County hospital for further treatment.

The accident took place at 1916 Prospect Place in Brooklyn. The workers were seemingly performing demolition activities when the building’s third level came down.

Who is liable for the workers injuries

Typically, construction site accidents that warrant a lawsuit in New York are the result of one or more party’s negligence to keep the working conditions safe. For example, if the owner of the building knew that the structure was unsafe and allowed workers to enter the building, he or she may be liable. If there were a general contractor or prime contractor, they may also be liable. The employer is usually not held liable when their workers are injured while working.

Employees who are paid legally are protected by workers compensation when hurt on the job. Workers compensation is insurance typically paid by both the employees and the employer. The insurance covers a worker’s medical expenses and lost wages. The insurance protects both the employer and the employee.

Many construction accidents are a result of negligence. Owner’s, general contractors, prime contractors, consultants, and construction managers may be partly or fully liable if they are contractually responsible for the overall project. Federal and state laws require the owner or an owner’s representative to ensure that the contractors they hire follow safety laws such as maintaining safety plans, hazardous communication, and much more.

OSHA and the New York Department of Buildings are investigating the accident.

Why file a construction accident lawsuit in New York

The New York Labor laws – sections 200, 240, and 241(6) – specify an obligation of the owner and/or the owner’s representative to use reasonable care when maintaining a job site.

Section 240, referred to as “Scaffolding Law,” specifically addresses provisions for workers injured while working on scaffolding, ladders, ropes, and other devices. The law holds the owner and/or owner’s representative strictly liable if a worker is injured as a result of inadequate or missing safety equipment. Section 241(6) holds the general contractor and/or the owner liable if they fail to ensure the project complies with the New York State Industrial Code.

Workers who are injured on job sites are often left in financial ruin because workers compensation only covers a percentage of lost wages and medical expenses. If a person has been in a construction accident, it may be prudent to contact a New York construction accident attorney.

NY personal injury attorneys at EKJ Law can help

Since 1952  Edelman, Krasin & Jaye has aggressively represented our clients rights by embracing a valued tradition of maintaining sharp focus on our client’s needs and providing them with the professional and caring legal representation they deserve. If you were hurt on a construction site, contact us to learn more about filing a construction accident lawsuit in New York.

Call for a free consultation at 800.469.7429 or 516.742.9200.