Many New York commercial and residential buildings have elevators that require installation and maintenance. The elevator repair and installation business is a booming sector of the construction trades in the city. Unfortunately, the workers who install and repair elevators are at high risk of being seriously injured or sustaining fatal injuries on the job. The dangers include the close proximity to electrical systems and improperly installed systems such as the elevator controller.
On January 9, 2015, an elevator mechanic was crushed to death while attempting to repair a system in an elevator shaft in one of New York City’s many residential towers in the Upper West Side.
The man was crushed when an empty elevator moved down three floors, pinning and crushing his body, causing fatal injuries. At the time of the report, accident investigators were uncertain whether the elevator actually fell or descended under control. Another worker escaped injury. Another recent tragic death involved two brothers who were on a routine elevator maintenance call when one was hit and killed by a moving elevator at the New York Avenue Apartments in Atlantic City.
The recent accidents were consistent with the types of activities most likely to lead to death. During a 10-year period, fatal accidents involving elevators reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics were as follows:
93 deaths installing or repairing elevator
28 deaths working in elevator shaft or car
52 deaths working next to elevator
Elevator installers and repairers are put at risk of falls from ladders, burns, and severe muscle strains associated with working in restricted spaces. A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor reveals the most dangerous construction occupations and the five highest death rates.
Elevator installers and repairers are listed as the sixth most dangerous profession in the construction field, and elevator installers and repairers suffered the highest numbers of deaths in work on or near elevators, far above laborers, supervisors, ironworkers, and other professions. The most common types of injuries sustained are as follows:
Elevator installers and repairs work in a hazardous industry. Construction has one of the highest rates of injury in the private sector. Construction had the highest count of fatal injuries in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The “fatal four” in the construction industry, according to OSHA, are responsible for one in five workers deaths:
Elevator installation and repair are among the more dangerous jobs in the construction industry.
If you have been injured in an elevator accident or have a family member who was seriously or fatally injured while working as an elevator installer or repair technician, talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident lawyer about your rights to seek compensation.