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New York City Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workplace Safety Scam Uncovered

Outsourcing building inspections, a common practice at the New York Department of Buildings, has unwanted consequences.  It turns out that two safety firms hired to verify that workplace safety practices were implemented correctly at building sites were actually scamming the system and that the desired outcome -- preventing construction accidents -- was the last thing the "inspectors" were doing.

NY Scaffold Law Debate Focuses on Insurance Problem and Transparency

construction scaffolding New York.jpg

The lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have devoted a great deal of time fighting for worker safety. Some of that battle includes making sure that worker safety laws in New York remain strong. The worker safety law that has galvanized a great deal of discussion in New York City and in Albany is the Scaffold Law.

The Scaffold Law is a worker safety law that protects construction workers, particularly those those who work in elevated areas. In the most general sense, the law puts the responsibility on developers, property owners and general contractors to make sure that worksites are safe and have the proper equipment. They are held responsible when their failure to comply with the law causes a worker to be seriously injured or killed.

Bus Accident Results in Falling Scaffolding


A Canadian charter bus, carrying teens from St. John, New Brunswick, crashed into a scaffold in mid-town Manhattan last week.  Thankfully, there were no serious injuries.  However, the accident illustrates the dangers both of driving in New York traffic and the dangers of construction work that involves scaffolding. 

The Most Dangerous Jobs in America, Part 1 of 2

Some jobs are more dangerous than others. We have written often in this blog about the dangers of construction work.  What about other dangerous occupations?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that in 2012, the last year for which there are complete statistics, there were 4, 628 workplace deaths across the United States - an average of about 3.2 deaths per 100,000.  However, some occupations have fatality rates that are much higher than this average

Danger of Injuries to Healthcare Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines on preventing back injuries in the healthcare industry. It turns out that workers in nursing homes and residential care facilities were sidelined twice as often by musculoskeletal injuries than construction workers.  Why? It turns out that manual patient moving and shifting is more dangerous to the back and other muscles than high-risk construction work.

The OSHA brochure, “50 Tips for More Effective Safety Training,” also describes other safety hazards faced by healthcare workers. These include:

  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Other biological hazards
  • Laser hazards
  • Workplace violence
  • Chemical exposure
  • Radioactive material

Protect Young People From Workplace Accidents

This post is about a Canadian situation, but it also applies to New York City and the United States generally. In the province of Saskatchewan, workers under age 25 suffer more workplace accidents than do older workers. Most injuries occur during July and August, when young workers are out of school and have temporary jobs.

Most of the jobs filled by young people in the summer involve the construction, retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors. A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board (WCB) says that most work injuries occur to hands, backs, shoulders, head and eyes. 

Sources of NYC Workplace Accident Statistics

Statistics about work-related injuries and fatalities in New York City are available from a number of sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and the New York State Department of Labor. What can we learn from this statistical information? Several examples follow.

New York Food Workers Suffer Workplace Accidents at a Surprising Rate

It turns out that nearly half of the workers at New York City's food plants have been injured workplace accidents. The study, conducted by the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project and released June 24, reported that 42 percent of workers who prepare and pack food products said they were hurt on the job.

Fifteen percent of the respondents said they slipped and fell. Fourteen percent were cut, and 10 percent experienced back injuries.

Death of Temp Worker in Workplace Accident Results in OSHA Violations

osha safety first sign.jpg The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has citied five companies in the death of an Amazon employee in a warehouse in New Jersey. This happed one week after OSHA started investigating the death of a worker in another warehouse, this one in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The worker was crushed after being pulled into a conveyor belt while performing sorting work.

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