Dangerous Job Sites in New York

Construction job sites are dangerous places with lots of activity and workers on the ground working in close proximity to dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes, and other heavy equipment. More than half of all construction worker deaths in job site accidents are caused by four common types of accidents: falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being caught in between objects or equipment.

  • The National Safety Council ranks construction work among the most dangerous occupations in the U.S.
  • In New York, there were 38 fatal construction accidents in 2013, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those who work in the industry are well aware that construction work is dangerous. If a job site is not properly maintained to remove hazards or employers are poorly trained, the risk of serious injury is high.

At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our personal injury lawyers represent construction workers who have been injured on the job. Our aggressive New York construction accident lawyers have extensive experience handling construction accident cases and a thorough knowledge of New York labor law. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a dangerous job site, contact us to arrange for a free case consultation of your case. Call us today at 212-490-5700 to learn more.

Common Hazards on New York City Job Sites

At a New York City construction site, crews are working amid the dust and noise of power tools and heavy equipment to meet deadlines.

Workers use makeshift ramps and platforms, and some may be working at great heights. It’s not hard to see how lapses in communication or safety may lead to a job site accident if a construction company does not train workers to follow safety protocols or fails to provide proper safety equipment.

Some hazards construction workers face include:

No Safety Rails on Ledges and Scaffolding

Falls are the most common cause of construction fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), accounting for 33% of all deaths in the construction industry. Guardrails are an important safety measure to prevent falls.

Lack of Fall Protection Gear

Workers should be protected in case of a fall. The OSHA recommends safety nets and personal fall arrest systems, in addition to safety rails. Fall protection systems are required for workers working above certain elevations off the ground.

Uncovered Openings That Create a Fall Risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warn that when adequate guarding and fall protection is not provided for work around roof and floor openings and skylights, serious injuries and fatal falls can result.

Potential for Falling Objects From Above

According to the OSHA, workers beneath scaffolds and cranes are at risk of injury from falling objects when they work near where overhead work is being completed.

No Safety Guards on Machinery or Equipment to Prevent Hands and Feet From Getting Trapped

Almost all job sites have machinery with rotating or moving parts. When it is not guarded or de-energized during maintenance and repairs, workers’ clothing or body parts can get caught in moving machinery, causing injuries including fractures, amputations, and death, as stated by the OSHA.

Exposed Wires and Electrical Hazards

Electric shock is one of the most common construction hazards. An OSHA training presentation attributes these injuries to a number of factors, including exposed electrical parts, improper grounding, wet conditions, inadequate wiring, damaged insulation, tools or equipment, and overhead power lines.

Nail Gun Injuries

Nail guns cause tens of thousands of injuries each year, affecting two out of five residential carpenter apprentices. The OSHA has identified the two major risk factors associated with nail guns as: the type of trigger system on the gun, the extent of training of the user.

Notable
Results

$9,000,050

Construction Workers Injured on an Exterior Scaffold

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Your Legal Options After Injury at an Unsafe NY Job Site

You should have a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the construction industry review your job site accident. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have handled all types of construction accidents, including falls, vehicle accidents, scaffolding accidents, and other serious injuries.

Your legal options will depend on the circumstances of your accident. In most cases, construction workers injured on the job will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and families of workers killed in work-related accidents are likely to qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits.

In New York, workers’ compensation rules prohibit employees injured in on-the-job accidents from suing their employers for their injuries in most instances.

Depending on the specific facts of the accident, however, an injured employee may be entitled to seek compensation from another party other than the employer if they contributed to the accident. In third-party lawsuits, injured workers may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses.

New York’s scaffold law protects construction workers who are working on scaffolding whether they are painting, cleaning, repairing or demolishing a building. The law holds property owners and contractors legally liable for gravity-related injuries caused by the unsafe placement of scaffolding or objects dropped from scaffolding or ladders.

Injured workers may be entitled to seek damages in lawsuits against possible parties such as:

  • Contractors and vendors
  • Equipment manufacturers and distributors
  • Property owners

Our firm will review the facts of your job site accident and advise you of your legal options and what damages you may be entitled to claim. Our attorneys have been awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and listed among New York Super Lawyers®.

We are aggressive in protecting your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 212-490-5700 for a free evaluation of your case with no obligation.

Sources:

OSHA: Commonly Used Statistics
National Safety Council: Occupational Injury and Illness FAQs
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Fatal occupational injuries in New York (including New York City) 2013
OSHA: Fall Hazards Trainer Guide
CDC – NIOSH: Preventing Falls of Workers Through Skylights and Roof and Floor Openings
OSHA: Construction Focus Four: Caught-In or -Between Hazards
OSHA: Big Four Construction Hazards: Electrical Hazards

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