Construction Accidents on the Rise in NYC
According to a recent Daily News investigation, construction accidents in New York City have increased. Incidents like falls, wall and scaffolding collapses, and falling materials and equipment can cause serious injuries to workers, sometimes even resulting in their deaths. Yet the city has recently downsized oversight of construction site safety.
Workers who become victims of a construction fall injury in NYC have rights. A New York construction accident lawyer can review the facts of the case and navigate the complex legal process, including NY workers comp laws, to help recover damages.
Increased risk for construction fall injury in NYC
City records show that the number of jobsite accidents jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012, while the number of injuries rose 46 percent. In the New York metro area, construction fatalities rose as well, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, the city has reduced the number of worksite inspections by 40 percent between 2009 and 2012, with notice violations of wrongdoing dropping by 6,600 from 2011 to 2012. Some of the decline is due to a dwindling number of inspectors, but the Daily News reports that the city has quietly admitted they’re relying more and more on “contractors to police themselves and voluntarily report problems to the department.”
Yet according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, construction contractors have been found to be negligent in inspecting damaged equipment, ignoring unsafe worksites, failing to train and supervise workers, and hiding accidents from regulators.
New York crane accident lawyers note recent incidences
New York crane accident lawyers are quick to point out the number of construction accidents in recent years. On January 9, 2013, for example, a crane collapsed onto a building under construction near the East River waterfront. Seven people suffered injuries, including broken bones.
The New York Times later reported that the operator of the crane had been trying to lift a load more than twice the crane’s capacity, and was also trying to lift the materials outside of the approved loading zone. The operator’s license was suspended.
ABC Eyewitness News reported the next day that in the past year, there’s been a serious crane accident about every 10 weeks. These include an incident in February, April, October, and December 2012, with the last one crushing a worker to death.
Accidents can result in serious injuries and death
A construction fall injury in NYC can cause life-altering injuries and even death. A Brooklyn construction worker, for example, fell between 35-40 feet at the construction site of the Gowanus Canal flushing tunnel in July 2011, landing on his back. The incident left him in critical condition. The New York Times later reported that his ladder was wet.
When construction structures collapse, they can also cause serious injuries. In November 2011, for example, five workers were trapped under shards of corrugated metal that fell in a five-story apartment building under construction in Brooklyn. One of the workers later died.
Workers who are injured while on the site because of a lack of oversight or safety precautions by the company may benefit from a consultation with a worker’s compensation attorney in New York.
A New York construction accident lawyer can help
In the state of New York, construction site owners and their contractors are required to keep construction sites safe. They are not to permit employees to use passageways, scaffolds or walkways that are slippery, wet, or otherwise unsafe. Improperly assembled equipment, missing safety harnesses, malfunctioning equipment, lack of guardrails or safety ropes, and more can all be cause for negligence and liability claims.
If you or a loved one was injured in a construction fall injury in NYC, you have legal options. A New York construction accident lawyer at The Sanders Firm can help you navigate the intricacies of New York workers comp laws, and can help you gather the evidence you need to present a strong case. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 800-FAIR-PLAY.