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New York City Worker Injury Blog

Workers' Compensation No Longer Doing Its Job, Says NYCOSH

A report issued last year by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) points to problems in the state's workers compensation system. Based on case studies of seven workers, the report shows that workers injured in workplace accidents or made ill by dangerous cconditions continue to experience " frustration, aggravation, delay and humiliation" and to receive "inadequate medical care and compensation."

Alex Schell, Construction Worker, Injured in Truck Accident on Verrazano Bridge

The New York City attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy continue to update you on the latest news involving construction in New York. Unfortunately, many of the current events that we hear about relate to serious construction accidents. Today is no different.

No Major Crane Accidents So Far This Year in NYC

Given the amount of high-rise construction going on in New York City, it’s a wonder there are not more crane accidents.  Fortunately, there has not been a major incident in the city since 2013. However, crane accidents continue to be a significant source of injuries and fatalities at construction sites across the United States and beyond. 

Construction Safety and Construction Development Can Coincide

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have frequently discussed worker safety laws in this space. Often, the opponents of New York's worker safety laws try to portray a parallel they claim exists between strong worker safety protections and a lack of construction development. New York City has shown this argument to be patently false.

A recent article in the New York Daily News has highlighted the recent surge in construction activity that has taken place in New York City. In fact, the article described the activity as returning to the boom-time levels of 2007 and 2008. Recent forecasts for construction spending suggest that nearly $33 billion will be spent on construction in 2014 alone. That represents a 17% increase from the lofty levels that were reached in 2013.

Fatal Work Accidents In New York City and State

There are some fatal work accidents that never happen in New York City but occur elsewhere in the state.   In September of 2014, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that a farm worker was killed by a hay bailer while trying to clear a jam in the machine.  This type of accident is not likely to happen in the city. 

Construction Workers Buried After Ceiling Collapses

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy maintain a close relationship with the construction industry. The shared bond has been formed over many years and is a result of different factors, such as our willingness to fight for construction workers and their families. The firm has achieved great results on behalf of workers who have been injured in accidents. We also make it a point to follow developing stories in the construction industry, often highlighting the dangers of this work so that efforts at weakening worker safety laws are exposed. Worker safety remains a critical issue in New York State and beyond. Attacks on worker safety laws are still a threat to hardworking men and women and their families. That brings us to a frightening work-related accident that recently occurred in the Mineola section of Long Island today. The details are below.

Emergency personnel raced to the scene of a construction site in Mineola this morning. They were responding to a report that two construction workers were trapped underneath the rubble after a large portion of a ceiling collapsed on top of them. The ceiling piece was estimated to be a 30 by 50 foot piece of concrete. It also had wire racks attached to it. At the time of the accident, the building was being prepared for asbestos abatement. There were approximately 20 workers on the site and these two were unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their bodies were covered in rubble and debris and the emergency workers spent hours trying to dig them out. The other workers were not injured.

Construction Accident Statistics from the Dept. of Buildings

The New York City Department of Buildings releases statistics every month about construction accidents that occur in the city. The most recent month available, April 2014, shows both raw numbers of accidents and compares those numbers to the previous year, 2013.

Trenching Accident Kills Two New Jersey Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has begun an investigation into the death of two construction workers in Boonton, New Jersey, about 35 miles west of New York City.

Two men working on a landscaping crew died when a large hole collapsed on top of them. Although the landscaping company, Bednar Landscape Services, Inc., has no safety violations listed in the OSHA database, an agency spokesperson said the “Trenching deaths caused by cave-ins are completely preventable.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into Wednesday's trench collapse in Boonton, New Jersey that killed two construction workers.

One worker was caught in the 10-foot hole when it collapsed, and another jumped in to save him.  Neither was able to escape.