Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

The recent Miami building collapse illustrates the devastating consequences of shoddy construction and maintenance. While many building owners may claim that New York building collapses are unexpected, many structural engineers and safety experts disagree with those claims. Regardless of the foreseeability of a collapse, these incidents can cause catastrophic and deadly injuries to anyone in the vicinity of the structure. Those affected by a building collapse should seek representation from a New York construction site accident attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

In most situations, buildings will not collapse without cause or negligence; however, determining the exact cause of the collapse can be challenging. In many cases, the combining force of several defects and environmental factors may impact the severity of a collapse. The leading causes of building collapses can include:

  • Foundation defects

Living in New York, large buildings are commonplace. Most residents can live their entire life in the city and never encounter a major problem with a building. However, the recent tragedy in Florida illustrates that building collapses are not unheard of and, when they occur, they can have disastrous implications.

Last week, an apartment building in Miami collapsed, killing at least eight and leaving more than 150 unaccounted for. The investigation into the collapse is so far taking a back seat to locating all missing residents; however, ultimately, state and federal investigators will look into what could have caused the huge building to collapse.

According to a recent news report, there is already some speculation as to what could have been done to prevent the catastrophe. For example, CNN recently published an article citing a letter written by the board president of the building. In the letter, she notes, “the concrete deterioration is accelerating. The roof situation got much worse, so extensive roof repairs had to be incorporated…the observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse since the initial inspection.” This leads to the natural question: why didn’t building management take the necessary steps to secure the building.

Elevator accidents can inflict catastrophic injuries or even kill a worker at a construction site in New York. If you were injured in an elevator accident, it may be appropriate to sue under New York Labor Law 241(6). Recently, a falling elevator at a charter school under construction in the Bronx dropped four stories from the fourth floor to the ground. It killed a construction supervisor, while also seriously injuring the worker who was with him in the elevator cab. Both were carrying construction debris at the time.

 

The elevator accident occurred early in the morning. The construction crew was present at the site to convert the building into a charter school. Among other permits, the contractor had a permit to work on the elevator of the existing building. However, back in 2019 at the same site, workers fell twenty feet to their deaths through an opening in the second floor. Additionally, the construction site was temporarily shut down over the last year because their construction permits had expired.

 

Afterward, a stop-work order was placed on the site as the Building Department investigated the accident. Workers at the same site reported they didn’t know what had caused the elevator to drop. One worker said there were always proper safety measures taken at the site. However, as it should, the Building Department promised there would be a thorough investigation to determine whether the elevator accident occurred because safety rules were ignored.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the roofing industry consistently maintains its position as one of the most dangerous types of work. Statistics indicate that roofers experience the third-highest fatality rate of American workers. New York construction workers, such as roofers, who suffer serious injuries should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

The most serious danger to construction workers, especially roofers, is the risk of falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that nearly 40% of construction worker fatalities involved a falling accident. There are many causes of roofing fall accidents including, roof pitch, inclement weather, debris and slipping hazards, and electrocution. These dangerous angles and weather conditions, compounded with irregular surfaces, make falling accidents more likely to occur. In addition to falling off of a roof, workers may fall through a collapsing roof. This is an especially perilous situation as a collapsing roof often poses a danger to anyone in the vicinity of the roof.

For example, a recent news report described a construction accident stemming from a collapsed roof. According to officials, the construction worker was working on a demolition project when the building began to collapse. Witnesses stated that roof jacks were placed throughout the building. Emergency responders stated that the roof “completely caved in” and surrounded the man. Fire and Rescue workers extricated the worker from the building and transported him to a hospital. Tragically, the man succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.

New York construction site accidents typically involve a complex interplay of various statutes and regulations. Injury victims and their families who wish to pursue damages after a construction site injury should contact a New York personal injury attorney to discuss their rights and claims to damages. Construction sites are inherently dangerous workplaces, and construction site owners and managers should take steps to ensure a reasonably safe environment.

Workers at a construction site have the right to a safe environment. This standard applies to employees, independent contractors, and subcontractors. New York’s workers’ compensation laws prohibit employees from suing their employers for most work-related injuries; however, exceptions exist in limited situations. In some cases, subcontractors can sue the construction site manager if they suffer injuries at the worksite. A subcontractor who suffers injuries because of a general contractor’s or coworker’s negligence may be able to recover damages from the at-fault parties.

Construction site accidents may result from falls, falling debris, electrocutions, defective machinery, and collapses. These accidents may cause fractures, broken bones, internal organ damage, lacerations, burns, brain injuries, paralysis, and even death. For instance, a news source recently reported that a 60-year-old subcontractor died in a power station accident. Witnesses explained that crews from various construction companies were at the power station when a heavy pipe fell on him. The falling pipe slammed into his head and killed the man upon impact.

Many people associate construction site accidents with falls and defective machinery; however, electrocutions often result in the most deadly injuries. New York construction sites often expose workers to hazardous conditions, including live wires and faulty electrical equipment. Additionally, a significant number of construction projects require workers to manage devices that have electricity running through them. The most common electrocution accidents on construction sites involve contact with overhead power lines, contact with live wires, and electrical currents.

Although electrocution accidents can happen out of nowhere, the majority of these accidents involve negligence. The electric source may be a wire, metal, or machinery. The electric shock occurs when the conductor sends a volt to a part of a person’s body. These types of accidents disproportionately affect electricians, power company employees, and construction workers. Many construction electrocutions happen when a worker touches an object that comes in contact with a live wire. Even indirect contact like this can cause a person to suffer the effects of a deadly electrical volt. Those in charge of a construction site should make sure to insulate or turn off power sources that can cause electrocution. Electrocutions are often deadly because the whole body experiences the volt at once.

For example, a New York news report recently described injuries an ironworker suffered at the Mineola station’s construction site. Transportation authorities stated that contractors were constructing a pedestrian bridge when a crane touched a high voltage line. The contact created an arc of electricity that resulted in an iron worker’s electrocution. The woman was transported to a local hospital and remained in critical condition.

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen at any location and for a variety of reasons. However, accidents involving construction workers often involve unique legal issues. Additionally, New York construction accidents occurring on staircases enhance the complexity of these cases. Construction workers who suffer injuries after falling on a defective staircase may encounter many challenges when recovering damages for their injuries. However, these accidents can have long-lasting physical, psychological, and financial consequences, and injury victims should pursue their claims against negligent parties.

For instance, a news report recently detailed the death of a construction worker who died after a stairwell collapsed at a parking garage. The man was removing railings when the structure collapsed, and he became trapped between the wall and floor. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the accident scene, and another worker was hospitalized with critical injuries.

Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall construction accidents can stem from broken stairs and handrails, or another similar defect. Generally, when an individual suffers injuries on a broken staircase, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner, site manager or another party responsible for the defect. In these situations, they can pursue a claim to recover damages for their medical costs, lost wages and benefits, and pain and suffering.

Dump trucks are one of the most prevalent vehicles on construction sites. These large vehicles are cumbersome, and their unusual design and loose loads can pose serious dangers to anyone in their vicinity. New York dump truck accidents may involve onsite construction accidents or motor vehicle collisions on the road. Those who suffer injuries in an accident involving a dump truck may face serious and life-long debilitating consequences.

Construction site operators generally use dump trucks to transport heavy loads of sand, gravel, or demolition debris. Most of these vehicles have an open-box bed that uses hydraulic rams to lift the front of the bed to dump the load on the ground behind the truck. Dump truck loads can weigh more than 15 tons, which is significantly heavier than an average vehicle. As such, accidents involving these vehicles often result in catastrophic injuries. For example, recently, a national news report described a tragic dump truck accident. According to the report, the two individuals were hit by a dump truck and fell into a ditch. Unfortunately, rescue operations were futile, and the two people suffered fatal injuries.

There are many reasons that a New York dump truck accident can occur. Some reasons include, the truck’s design, driver error, driving while impaired, accidental unloading, defective truck parts, truck company error or negligence, and flyaway debris. However, the majority of accidents involve careless operation and dump truck instability.

Construction sites are one of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of people suffer injuries related to construction projects every year, and many of these New York construction accidents involve elevators and similar hoisting devices. Elevators, hoists, hung scaffolds, and false cars present many serious dangers. Those that suffer injuries on these devices may face lifelong disability and even death.

For instance, a recent news report described a tragic elevator accident at a New York construction site. Officials report that a construction site worker fell from the 16th floor of a hospital that is under construction. He took a hoist elevator to the 16th floor, and witnesses reported that they saw the victim fall to the ground. Sadly, rescue attempts were futile as the man died at the scene of the accident.

Construction site elevator accidents can occur while an elevator is under construction or when workers are utilizing it on site. The majority of New York elevator accidents occur because of mechanical or technical failure. In many situations, a defect in the pulley system can cause the elevator or hoist to drop at high rates, causing blunt force trauma or crushing. Similarly, people often suffer injuries by falling into an elevator shaft. Although safety protocols mandate that these areas are marked, the danger may not be marked in some situations, or it may be ignored.

Construction sites are necessary for the growth and prosperity of New York; however, they are also some of the most dangerous workplaces. New York construction site accidents take the livelihood and lives of many workers every year. Despite the harrowing realities of construction site accidents, workers’ compensation laws limit how much an employee can recover against their employer. However, many accidents stem from more than one party’s negligence, and in these cases, construction site victims can file a third-party lawsuit against the liable party.

For instance, a recent New York excavator accident illustrates a situation where a third-party may be responsible for the worker’s death. In that case, a worker died after his excavator flipped into a river, trapping the man in bitterly cold waters for hours. Emergency crews’ efforts to rescue the man were unsuccessful, and the man succumbed to his injuries. Police reported that the excavator toppled when it got close to the water. An investigation is ongoing; however, the company involved did not comment on the accident. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records indicate that the company has a prior incident report.

Negligent third-parties may include property owners, contractors, and subcontractors. Additionally, in situations where the accident stemmed from defective equipment, the equipment manufacturer might be liable. Further, in New York, many third-party construction accident claims stem from electrical accidents, scaffolding incidents, untrained workers, and defective safety equipment.