There is a building boom going on in New York City and a recent article in the New York Times, Fatal Construction Accidents on the Rise in New York, reveals the fact that there were 8 deaths in 2015, and that number does not include all of the serious non-fatal injuries that also occur due to lack of safety measures, bad judgement, and/or faulty materials at construction sites. The writer, Matt Chaban, quotes the president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, Louis J. Coletti as saying, “This is the second-most-dangerous job in America after mining, so you need guys who know what they are doing.”
Construction workers are put in harm’s way every day they show up to work. They are operating heavy machinery, working on temporary scaffolding, repairing weak structures, working at high elevations, and even working underground with limited light and air. No matter how strict safety regulations and rules are on a construction site, workers are putting their health and lives at risk every day. If something should happen to them, they can no longer work and make a living as a construction worker.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious injury while working in construction in New York City, you will need an experienced construction injury lawyer.
A case we recently won involved our client who fell off of a ladder while at work at a construction site. When he fell, he severely injured his wrist and re-injured a prior back injury. He ended up having multiple wrist surgeries and surgery to his lower back, and is now permanently disabled. We were able to settle his case for $2,250,000, which will pay for medical bills, ongoing treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Construction workers are the backbone of New York, working to repair and beautify our city at all hours and in all weather. When you are injured in a preventable accident on the construction site, you deserve to be compensated for your medical treatments and any lost wages you incur while recovering. Negligence is a serious offense, and if you are injured as a result of someone else’s recklessness, ignorance, or negligence, we are going to help you get what you deserve from the person or company responsible.
What are the most common types of on-the-job construction site accidents?
Falling from ladders, including defective ones.
Falling from or being injured on scaffolding from defective or insufficient equipment and supplies.
Falling through gaps in floors, unmarked or uncovered holes.
Failure to provide or provide adequate safety equipment and materials.
Injuries in, around, or from aerial lifts – very dangerous pieces of equipment!
Electrical accidents, such as those due to faulty wiring, failure to shut off power to areas where electricians are working, or other defective or malfunctioning equipment.
Accidents involving heavy machinery, such as forklifts, cranes, and more.
All those who work in the construction industry are protected from dangerous or unsafe working conditions under New York Labor Law Section 200, 240, and 241. These accidents can be a result of falling debris, falling off a ladder, or falling in unguarded openings.
According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, here are the things you need to do immediately if you are injured on the job:
Get first aid or other medical treatment as soon as possible. The treating health care provider must be authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board, except in an emergency situation.
Notify your supervisor about the injury and the way in which it occurred, as soon as possible. An injured employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Follow all of your doctor’s instructions for the fastest recovery.
In the case of filing a claim, you will also want to:
Take pictures of the scene of the accident and all equipment
Document all of your injuries
Obtain and keep a copy of your medical records
Get contact information for any eyewitnesses
There are time limitations to these claims and accident reports, and a qualified construction injury attorney will be able to help you and make sure everything is on time and within the statute of limitations, as well as work with you to deal with insurance companies, the workers’ compensation board, and your employer.
How can employers or employees prevent on-the-job construction accidents and injuries?
Provide safety training for all employees, in which all employees be required to participate
Hold frequent crew safety meetings, reiterating safety hazards and what to do if someone is injured.
Provide and make sure crews utilize all necessary protective clothing and gear.
Keep the site clean and uncluttered, preventing trips and falls and other injuries.
Make sure all equipment and tools are properly maintained and properly stored.
Prevent falls by installing fall protection systems such as guardrails, toe boards, screens, canopy structures or nets. Scaffolding can also prevent falls, but must be installed properly to make sure it is constructed well enough for the weight load, and regularly inspected.
Before any project starts, the site should be inspected for any unusual hazards and a risk assessment created to protect workers’ health and safety.
Be careful with any and all vehicles, making sure to be alert and aware of dangers, hazards, and defensive driving techniques.
Use all equipment in the proper way; follow directions.
Follow OSHA guidelines and report any dangerous working conditions.
NEVER EVER COME TO WORK INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ANY DRUG OR HAVING NOT SLEPT. BE AWARE AND ALERT AT ALL TIMES TO PREVENT DANGEROUS ACCIDENTS PUTTING YOU AND YOUR COWORKERS AT RISK.
Contact the Law Office of Nicholas Tzaneteas to speak to an experienced construction accident attorney who has had years of experience fighting for the rights and the best compensation for his clients.