Window washer accidents in NYC aren’t on the news every night, but they certainly happen more often than you might imagine. For example, in December 2021, a window washer in Brooklyn Heights tragically fell to his death from a high-rise. Sadly, many window washer accidents are fatal. However, serious injuries can also occur.
If you or a loved one was injured in an NYC window washer accident, reach out to a NYC work injury attorney at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek P.C. Our compassionate NYC personal injury lawyers are here to listen to your story and help you move forward.
Window washing the skyrises in NYC is risky. Workers often hang from ropes in sketchy safety harnesses with rarely inspected belts. Overall, window washing is dangerous because of lax training and failure to adhere to safety protocols.
Window washers are at risk of falling from great heights when they are dozens of stories up off the ground. A fall of 50 to 60 feet, or from the fifth or sixth floor, is likely to be fatal. However, there are other dangers also. At the elevations where window washers work, winds can become strong and cause a worker to slam into the side of the building.
Pedestrians walking under window washers are also at risk. If a window washer accidentally drops a bucket or equipment, the pedestrian could be injured. Even lightweight items can cause catastrophic injuries when they fall a hundred feet to the ground.
The only way to prevent injuries to window washers and pedestrians is to ensure workers have the equipment and adequate training. Employers and workers must follow safety regulations and laws that have been put into place to keep everyone free from harm.
When working at great heights, window washers should ensure their tools and equipment are secure. Everything should be secured to platforms with ropes and straps to prevent them from falling to the ground.
Harnesses, belts, ropes, and other safety equipment should be inspected before every use. If there is any mold, mildew, rust, wear, tear, or other flaws, equipment should be replaced immediately.
Employers should also appoint a safety inspector familiar with Occupational Health and Safety Administration guidelines and NYC labor laws that are meant to keep workers safe.
For example, your safety inspector should be familiar with Section 202 of the New York Labor Law, which contains stipulations that make provisions for workers engaged in window washing in NYC. Under these stipulations, all building owners and contractors must require proper safety devices while cleaning the exterior of buildings.
If you are injured on the job, you can usually file a workers’ compensation claim. This will pay for your medical expenses and allow you to recover a portion of your lost wages. You can even get partial or total disability money – both temporary and permanent. However, you cannot get money for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
If your employer’s wrongful actions were intentional or particularly egregious, you might be able to sue them for their negligence. Negligence indicates that they had a legal duty and did not uphold that duty. Their actions or inaction resulted in your NYC window washing injuries and caused you to have financial damages.
However, other third parties may also be liable for your accident. It’s important to name everyone who may be responsible for your injuries in your New York personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t name all potential parties, you may forfeit your ability to recover all the compensation you deserve.
Some third parties who may be liable include:
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 59% of window washing accidents are fatal. Only 41% of the people involved in NYC window washing accidents survive, and many have catastrophic injuries.
Common non-fatal injuries suffered by window washers include:
Many of these injuries result in a life-long disability that prevents people from returning to work as they once did.
If you or a loved one were injured in an NYC window washer accident, you have options, but you need to act fast to secure the compensation you need and deserve. Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek P.C. has a team of NYC personal injury attorneys with experience handling cases like yours.
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