June 16, 2020
Increase in Construction During Warm Weather Months Means More Accidents for Workers
By Jonathan Damashek
Spring and summer bring with them a rise in construction accidents in New York. You might think bad weather, especially ice and snow, would be more dangerous, but an increase in the number of projects and heat contribute to higher numbers of injuries.
Construction is an inherently dangerous industry because of the use of heavy machinery, tools, work at great heights, and the elements. Missed deadlines can mean huge penalties and turn a once profitable project into a money pit so there may be those wanting to cut corners. All these factors may contribute to a construction-related injury.
Under New York law, the owner and general contractor are responsible for providing a safe construction workplace. If you’re injured doing construction work, you may believe your only remedy is workers’ compensation. But there might be other avenues as recovery as well. The construction injury lawyers of Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can review your circumstances and help get you the compensation you deserve.
There’s no cost to you unless we prevail on your behalf. Call (212) 490-5700 to schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation at our law office in Midtown Manhattan. Our law firm also assists workers injured in construction accidents in Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens.
Heat-Related Construction Injuries
Each year heat kills dozens of workers and makes thousands more ill, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under OSHA law, employers must keep workplaces free of known safety hazards, which includes protecting workers from extreme heat.
Some of the measures that employers should take to prevent illnesses and injuries related to heat include:
- Providing water, rest, and shade.
- Allowing more breaks and lighter workloads while workers adjust to the heat.
- Training workers on prevention and having plan to respond to emergencies.
- Monitoring workers for signs of illness.
But if employers or third-parties such as property owners, contractors, vendors, or product manufacturers fail to take the proper precautions despite knowing the chance a worker could be injured or killed, they must be held responsible for the resulting damages.
In the spring and summer, constructions workers could be injured or killed by:
- Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. A worker with heat stroke must receive medical care immediately. A heat stroke occurs with the body can’t regulate its temperature and high body temperature could lead to permanent disability or death. Signs of heat stroke include rapid heart rate, chills, confusion, slurred speech, dry/reddish skin, and a lack of sweating. Heat exhaustion, on the other hand, results when workers lose too much water and salt. The symptoms include heavy sweating, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion, clammy or flushed skin, cramping and fainting.
- Vehicle accidents, either as the driver, a pedestrian, or even working as a flagger to alert other drivers to the construction zone. Summer may mean an increase of traffic around the worksite, which can lead to more accidents between workers and third parties.
- Flammable and combustible products that become overheated. Fires or explosions of such materials can burn workers or lead to concussive injuries.
- Tool & equipment injuries caused by sweat on hands or in eyes. Workers may lose their grip on tools resulting in injury or slippery surfaces may lead to unsafe use of machinery. Sweat in eyes or obscuring sight through safety goggles can lead to tripping, falls, or tool accidents. Burn injuries – Hot tools, metals, and machinery left in the sun can be heated to dangerous temperatures, posing risks of serious burn injuries to workers who use them.
Hurt on a Construction Job? Call us
If you were hurt working construction, or if a loved one was killed on a worksite, our personal injury lawyers have experience in all kinds of construction accident lawsuits. From negotiating favorable settlements to taking a case to trial if need be, Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek can help get the compensation you or your family deserve. They will investigate what happened, determine who might be at fault, and then advise you or the legal options. Call (212) 490-5700 today for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation.