Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

A new study released by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine showed that falls remain the second leading cause of death for workers across the country. The study showed that falls represented 14 percent of all workplace fatalities in the United States during an 11-year period between 2003 and 2014. Workers with the highest rates of fatal falls were employed in the construction industry, representing 42.2 percent of all fatalities, and installation, maintenance, and repair, representing 12.5 percent of all workplace fatalities caused by falls.

Overall, a total of 8,800 workers died in America as the result of a fall during this 11-year period. The falls were further divided into the “length of the fall” and, unsurprisingly, workers that fell a single story or more were more likely to die as a result – with 84.7 percent of all worker deaths caused by a fall of “more than one level.” For workers that fell, but not a full story or level, only 12.7 percent of workers died. The remaining 2.6 percent passed away from “all other types of falls.”

Continue reading

Three Metro-North construction workers were injured in March when an iron beam fell off a truck and pinned the workers to the railroad tracks in East Harlem. According to the New York Post, a 2-by-3 foot  beam fell on Track 3 at East 100th Street and Park Avenue. All three of the construction workers involved in the accident were taken to the hospital, two suffered significant injuries when the beam fell on them and the third construction worker injured his leg.

The accident comes on the heels of the death of an MTA worker in the same month at the 125th street station. In that instance, the MTA worker, identified as St. Clair Richards-Stephens by the New York Post, was walking on a wooden rail when it collapsed. Richards-Stephens fell approximately 20 feet to the lower-level of the station and, after frantic efforts to revive the construction worker by medical personnel, was declared dead at the scene.

Continue reading

Three people were injured in April when scaffolding collapsed near the entrance to the Borough Hall Train Station in Brooklyn Heights. The scaffolding, which was being taken down at the time, left one construction worker with serious injuries and two pedestrians with relatively minor injuries. The company responsible for the scaffolding, New Force Construction Corporation, has previously been fined $25,000 by the New York City Department of Buildings for not following worker safety laws.

According to a witness speaking to CBS New York, “We just all of a sudden heard a crashing of the scaffolding, and then people screaming.” Other witnesses described a similar scene of mayhem when the 20-foot section of scaffolding in front of the Starbucks came crashing down onto two pedestrians who happened to be walking under the sidewalk shed. According to witnesses on the scene, the two pedestrians suffered relatively minor injuries while the construction worker’s arm appeared to be “seriously hurt and badly injured.” In addition to the three New Yorkers injured in the collapse, the faulty sidewalk shed also took down a crosswalk light at the intersection of Court Street and Joralemon Street, according to the NYPD.

Continue reading

Over the last two years, 31 construction workers have died in New York City, an ominous downside to the city’s construction boom.  Critics of the lax regulations that have allowed construction sites to become so dangerous point to the decline of unions that once protected workers from hazardous conditions. According to the Department of Buildings, construction injuries increased by 250 percent between 2011 and 2015.

roof-work-300x200As evidence that the decline of unions has imperiled construction worker’s safety, the New York Times points out that 29 of the 31 deaths in the City over the last year were non-union construction workers. This sad statistic is not particularly surprising, though – according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) non-union contracts make up 90 percent of the “Severe Violator Enforcement Program,” an involuntary program for habitual and serious offenders. Continue reading

roof-work-300x200A construction worker’s death in Chelsea last month marked the ninth construction death in New York City for 2017. The 34-year-old man, Przemyskaw Krawczyk, was standing on the sidewalk next to the building when an anchoring bracket fell on him. According to the New York Daily News, the piece of metal fell over ten stories before striking the man. Krawczyk was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The scaffolding fell from 61 Ninth Ave., a high-rise commercial development directly across from Chelsea Market and Google’s New York headquarters. The construction operation on the building was previously cited numerous times by the New York Department of Buildings. The construction site was partially shut down twice since May of the same year. Several of the code violations dealt with the scaffolding around the construction site.

Responding to the horrific construction accident, Buildings Department spokesman Joseph Soldevere told the New York Daily News, “This tragedy appears to have been completely preventable and we are taking enforcement actions against all parties involved.” Continue reading

Two construction workers in Manhattan died within hours of each other in two separate accidents in September of this year.

In the first accident, two veteran construction workers fell while working on a 62-story mixed use building at 9th Avenue and 33rd Street. The men, both 45-years old, fell out of a bucket lift approximately 35 feet to the ground below. While they were wearing harnesses, other members of the construction team noted that they were apparently not attached to anything.

construction-fallMedical teams rushed one person to the hospital, where he recovered. Unfortunately, the other construction worker fell on his face and was pronounced dead at the scene. The names of the two workers in the midtown accident were not released to the press, pending an investigation by the Department of Buildings. Continue reading

Mayor Bill de Blasio and union leaders are set to increase the amount of training hours required for construction laborers. Under the new regulations, all workers will be trained between 54 and 71 hours and supervisors will be trained an additional 30 hours.

In addition, certain workers will be required to undergo “task specific training” which could total 242 hours of training. More specifically, any laborers who will be working in “confined spaces” will need two to 16 hours of additional training. Rigging safety and suspended scaffold workers will need an additional 16 hours of training, their supervisors will require an additional 32 hours. Ten hours of additional training will be required for “excavation, demolition, and perimeter protections.”

The move by City Hall comes in response to an uptick in injuries and deaths on construction sites. The New York Coscaffold-300x200mmittee for Occupational Safety & Health recorded 25 construction fatalities in 2015, an alarming rise from the 17 recorded in 2015.  Mayor de Blasio is reportedly “very upset” whenever a fatal accident happens at a construction site. According to Politico, the Mayor “yells at staff whenever a death occurs.” Continue reading

Falls are becoming a more common cause of injuries in the construction industry. Between 2011 and 2015, the annual number of falls has increased by 36 percent – an increase from 781 falls in 2011 to 985 falls in 2015. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, the rise in construction accidents is likely attributable to a rise in construction from an improving economy. From a demographic standpoint, these injuries are most common in Hispanic workers, foreign-born workers, workers over the age of 55, and roofers. Geographically, these injuries from falls are specifically concentrated in urban areas – such as Los Angeles and New York.

Hispanic workers are much more likely to die from construction-related accidents than non-Hispanic workers. In a survey by The Center for Construction and Research and Training, Hispanic construction workers have a fatality rate of 4.9 per 100,000 workers, while white non-Hispanic workers have a fatality rate of 3.0 per 100,000 workers. Foreign-born and older workers also have an elevated risk of dying on a construction site – at 3.7 deaths and per 100,000 workers. Workers over the age of 55 are the group most susceptible to falls – accounting for 31 percent of falls, at a rate of 8.1 per 100,000 workers.

Continue reading

On January 30, 2007, Eddie Goodwin was on the fourth day of working to install wood paneling and molding at the Dix Hills Jewish Center in Dix Hills, New York when he was injured after falling from an unstable ladder. In preparing to lay the paneling, Goodwin had removed several fixtures from the walls – including two audio speakers. As the job was nearing its completion on the fourth day, a Rabbi employed by the temple asked Goodwin to re-install the speakers. Because rehanging the speakers would involve drilling holes and installing brackets, Goodwin used a ladder that was at the temple. After successfully installing the first speaker, Goodwin was in the process of installing the second speaker when the ladder “started swinging” and he subsequently fell from the ladder’s fourth rung and sustained injuries.

Goodwin sued the temple under New York Labor Law § 240 (1) which would hold the temple responsible for Goodwin’s injuries if Goodwin were damaged while “altering the building at the time of his accident.” The temple argued that because he was merely installing speakers, and therefore was not “altering” the building. On the other hand, Goodwin pointed to evidence of drilling holes and installing brackets as evidence that the speaker installation should be construed as an “alteration” of the building.

Continue reading

Two NYC construction workers were killed when a 6,500 pound steel beam came crashing down from the fourth floor or a building after a crane wire snapped. Department of Buildings Commissioner (DBC), Rick Chandler, believes the rigging rope failed which caused the beam to fall. The city will conduct an investigation to find out whether the wind was a factor in the accident; winds were gusting at almost 40 mph.

The equipment is owned by Cranes Express Inc. and was being used to build a residential building in Briarwood, Queens.  Last January, the company received a $3,500 fine from the federal Occupational Satefy and Health Administration for a “serious” violation at a construction site in Brooklyn. A source from DBC said the equipment passed inspection in June and an employee from the company did not have a comment or information at the time. Continue reading

Contact Information