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Construction’s Fatal Four and How To Avoid Them

Construction workers working on scaffoldingConstruction accidents are frequent enough that the industry — and the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) — have a term for the four most common accidents. It’s the “fatal four.”

Over 20% of all U.S. deaths stemming from workplace accidents occur in the construction industry. According to government statistics, roughly 93 workplace-related deaths happened in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available. So, in other words, construction accidents accounted for more than 19 deaths every week, on average.

What are the fatal four? Read on.

1. Falls

Falls are the most dangerous accidents on construction sites, by a wide margin. Falls make up almost 39% of all fatalities on construction sites.

Unfortunately, that isn’t too surprising when you think about it. Construction sites often have holes in floors not yet fully constructed, and workers can fall from story to story before walls and stairs are fully constructed.

In addition, of course, construction workers frequently work on scaffolding, which can be dangerous.

Although safety equipment such as harnesses and helmets should always be worn, sometimes companies do not require that these safety regulations be followed, or do not have the equipment for their workers. Lack of fall protection like this is the most commonly cited OSHA violation.

2. Struck by Object

Workers being struck by an object, which OSHA refers to as “strike-by” accidents, are the second of the fatal four. More than 9% of construction site fatalities are caused by strike-bys.

These type of accidents include being struck by objects falling from heights, such as beams and being hit by moving construction equipment, like trucks.

3. Electrocution

Electrocution holds the number three position in the fatal four. Over 8% of construction site fatalities are caused by electrocution.

Electrocution can happen because of hazards like exposed electrical wiring or worker equipment like ladders or cherry-pickers coming into contact with the electrical wiring overhead.

4. Caught-in/between

The last of the fatal four in construction is termed “caught between.” It refers to accidents in which workers are caught between objects or equipment, and, as a result, caught or crushed in an accident. Over 7% of deaths on construction sites annually are caused by caught-between accidents.

This can occur if structures or part of structures collapse or a worker is caught between materials or equipment, such as trucks and loaders.

When You Need a New York Construction Accident Lawyer

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are experienced construction accident attorneys, with decades of experience fighting for the rights of 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 paths open to you. Call 1-800-469-7429 to talk with an experienced New York City and Long Island construction accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Commonly Used Statistics.
  2. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA Quick Card. Top Four Construction Hazards.

3 Highest Paying Jobs in Construction

Wondering how much jobs in construction pay? The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles statistics for all occupations every year. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for the category, which it terms construction and extraction occupations, was $43,610 as of May 2016.

That’s 18% above the median annual salary made by all occupations in the United States, which is $37,040.

But some constructions jobs make considerably more than that. Here are the 3 highest paying jobs in construction.

#1: Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers are by far the most highly paid group within the construction sector. In 2016, the median salary hit $78,890. This equates to almost $38.00 per hour. The growth in jobs in this sector is also expected to be 12% over the next several years, which is more than the overall construction sector.

Elevator installers and repairers work on elevators, of course, and also on escalators and moving walkways. They install and repair all the intra-building transportation.

#2: Boilermakers

If you’re looking for the next highest paying construction job, it’s boilermaker. It pays a median annual salary of $62,060, slightly less than $30.00 per hour.

Many containers in buildings hold liquids and gases, like boilers. Boilermakers perform the assembly, installation, and repair of these containers. People usually need an apprenticeship to get a job as a boilermaker.

Job growth in the boilermaker field is expected to rise 8% from now until 2026. That’s less than the construction industry in the aggregate.

#3: Building Inspectors

The third highest paying job in construction is that of building inspector. The median yearly salary for this position is $58,480, roughly $28.12 an hour.

Building inspectors are responsible for going over buildings to make sure they are in compliance with the standards of local laws, regulations, codes, and zoning. They can inspect buildings for contract compliance as well.

Positions as building inspector are forecast to increase 10% through 2026, slightly less than the industry average.

To become a building inspector, you need to have at least 5 years of experience in working construction.

Overall, the BLS expects construction industry employment to climb 11% in the 10 years between 2016 and 2026, higher than the average for U.S. jobs. That’s an additional 758,000 jobs in the sector.

If You Need a Construction Accident Lawyer in New York

Construction jobs may pay well, but they can also pose serious bodily risk. Construction workers across all sectors can be injured and even killed from falls, electric shocks, tumbling debris, and more.

Construction accidents can result in lost wages or the inability to ever work again. They can cause families to lose their financial security.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a construction accident, you may be entitled to damages to compensate you and your family for medical bills, lost wages, job retraining, pain and suffering, and more.

Call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye today to discuss your case. All case reviews are free and we charge no fees unless we win money for you. Contact a seasoned New York City and Long Island construction accident lawyer now!

Additional Resources on Construction Job Salaries:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Construction and Extraction Occupations.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Elevator Installers and Repairers.
  3. Doyle, Alison. “The Top 10 Best Paid Construction Jobs.” The Balance. August 31, 2017.

How Do You Become a Crane Operator?

Among all construction site employees and laborers, a crane operator is one of the most important. If you don’t mind heights, like working with heavy machinery and crave hands-on work, becoming a crane operator may be right for you. Certified crane operators who excel at their job enjoy good salaries, steady work hours and a career track that offers travel opportunities.

Whether operating a boom truck, mobile or tower crane, you can expect to be working outdoors in challenging environments and moving heavy materials on construction sites, at iron mills, railways, and at seaports.

Education requirements and training

Becoming a crane operator does not require a four-year college degree, but you will need to finish high school, or earn your GED, and are encouraged to find a crane operator training program at a vocational school, community college or accredited organization. Training programs, which generally last a few weeks and provide classroom teaching and hands-on application, are not required in all states to become a certified crane operator. However, these programs are designed to give students both the knowledge and real-life experience necessary to ensure safe crane operation.

New York State requires that all crane operators are certified by either the American National Standards Institute or the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).  In order to obtain certification, you must pass both a written and practical exam, which are taken independently and have separate costs.

How much does it cost to get certified as a crane operator?

The fee for the core (written exam) to become a mobile crane operator is $165. The same fee applies to overhead and tower crane core exams. If you choose to be certified in an additional specialty, there is an additional $10 fee for each test.

The fee for the practical exam to operate either a mobile, tower or overhead crane is $60. This second phase of the two-part exam must be completed within one year of passing the written exam.

Crane operator training programs typically include fees for NCCCO core and practical exams, plus two specialty exams. Prices for 3-week programs can range from $2,500 to more than $3,500. Professional Operator Development programs may have a steep price tag, but they can help you pass the written exam while providing invaluable technical training on crane set-up, hydraulic systems, wire regulations, load charts and machinery inspection.

Bill 1447 requires safety training in NY

In an effort to reduce the rate of construction-related deaths in NYC, the city recently passed Bill 1447, which mandates that all workers — including crane operators– complete a 40-hour training course over the next two years, the exact date which is determined by the availability of training facilities. Workers will also have to complete a 10-hour course sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) by March 2018.

How much do crane operators make?

Working on a crane can be a well-paid occupation, with operators in the Northeast and West earning the biggest salaries. According to PayScale, crane operators in New York earn between $22 and $61 an hour. The median salary for a crane worker is just over $46,000 in 2017, though this figure varies depending on education, skill, and employment industry.

Though a rewarding and challenging career for many people, crane work is not without risks. In the last two years alone, more than 40 construction workers died in Manhattan and crane-related incidents claim dozens of lives across the country each year.

Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye are well-versed in New York labor and construction laws and stand prepared to protect your rights. To speak with an experienced construction accident lawyer on Long Island, please call our offices toll-free today.

Additional Resources:

  1. WorkChron, How Much Money Do Crane Operators Make?
  2. CareersinConstruction, Crane Operator,
  3. The Real Deal, Controversial construction safety bill gets Council approval
  4. BizFluent, How Much Does It Cost to Get Certified for Cranes?

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.
  2. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Commonly Used Statistics.
  3. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA Quick Card. Top Four Construction Hazards.

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.