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NYC construction workers’ safety compromised by after-hour work permits

In the wake of the Great Recession, the number of new residential construction projects in New York City plummeted and remained stagnant from 2009 through 2011. Since that time, the city's economy has rebounded and today New York City is in the midst of a building boom. However, while such signs of economic progress are encouraging, they also often come at a price.

Prior to 2009, construction workers in the city were busier than ever. However, from 2008 to 2009, the number of new residential building permits issued by the Department of Buildings fell dramatically from a record high of roughly 33,000, to less than 5,000. Consequently, many construction workers were out of work and forced to find jobs in other industries. Fast-forward to today, and construction employers are scrambling to find skilled workers and, in an effort to maximize profits, routinely cut corners when it comes to safety.

Medical Errors Are 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In U.S.

Everyone wants to trust that their medical care will help them; we all want to believe that the doctors and nurses entrusted with our care are infallible. That utopian view is one that is embraced by many people across the country. Nobody wants to believe that a doctor is capable of making a mistake in judgment or, in legal parlance, commit medical malpractice.

The reality is that medical mistakes continue to plague our health-care system. Medical malpractice in our country is being described as an epidemic in a prominent study that was recently released. The study was not commissioned by a politician or a lawyer; it was not performed by a social activist. Instead, doctors and hospitals are being criticized by one of the nation's leading doctors.

A surgeon at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Martin Makary, conducted a study and reached this chilling conclusion, "It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care." The study concludes that nearly 700 people die per day as a result of medical mistakes, accounting for approximately 9.5% of all deaths in the United States.


"Emergency Operation" Law Under Miscroscope After Crash

As it turns out, police cars and fire trucks can't flaunt the rules and drive any way they want - - or at least that is the direction the law seems to be moving in. A recent Brooklyn car crash offers the trial lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy a chance to explain the laws that apply to crashes with "emergency vehicles."

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at around 6:45 a.m., two police officers and a civilian suffered injuries as the result of an automobile crash when a marked NYPD SUV collided with a red Volvo at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Farragut Road in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.


Why demolition work is dangerous work

While virtually all construction-related work is dangerous, certain projects pose additional and unique safety hazards of which employees must be made aware and trained to avoid. Among some of the most dangerous construction projects are those that involve the demolition of buildings.

When it comes to demolition work, there are often many unknowns related to a building's structural integrity and the existence of hazardous materials like asbestos and silica. Additionally, construction equipment like cranes and wrecking balls that are used in demolition projects can pose additional hazards to workers on the ground who may be hit by falling objects or debris.

Mass Remember Fallen Construction Workers

16 construction workers who died in the past 12 months while working at construction sites in New York City were remembered at an annual mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan. The emotional scene was enhanced by bells tolling, polished marble floors, and limestone columns.


Despite increased enforcement actions, major safety lapses at construction sites are common

We've previously detailed information about numerous construction-related accidents throughout New York City which illustrate the inherent and daily dangers that individuals who work at construction sites face. As evidence of these grave dangers, during 2015 alone, a total of 17 workers lost their lives at construction sites throughout the city.

Too often, serious and fatal construction accidents result when construction companies, contractors, inspectors and engineers fail to follow safety protocols. In an effort to crackdown on unsafe practices within the construction industry, back in February, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed that the Department of Buildings would ramp up both inspection and enforcement actions.

Surge in number of NYC after-hours construction permits raises safety concerns

Stand along a New York City street and you're bound to see or hear signs and sounds of a building being renovated or constructed. During the first six months of 2015, new construction projects alone in the city were valued at $22.2 billion. With the city's building boom showing no signs of slowing down, construction employers and contractors are cashing in and enjoying record-setting profits. While demand throughout the city for skilled construction workers continues to increase, construction companies point to a growing problem--a shortage of skilled workers.

A recent article about New York City's real estate boom in The Real Deal, details a sharp increase in the number of after-work hour permits that are being granted by the city’s Department of Buildings. During 2015, nearly 60,000 of these permits, which allow construction work to occur before 7 a.m., after 6 p.m. or during the weekends; were granted for both new and renovation building projects.

Snapchat Sued By Brain Damaged Crash Victim

A Georgia man is suing Snapchat for the app's role in causing a violent crash. The suit* has been filed by Wentworth Maynard, a former driver for Uber, claiming that Snapchat was the "critical cause" of the crash, attributing it to a Snapchat filter that encourages its users to show the speed of their cars. In fact, the app provides incentives to users who post pictures showing excessive speed. The crash tragically left Maynard with permanent brain damage, according to the lawsuit.


Near Deadly Construction Accident In Lower Manhattan

A manlift crashed into a residential apartment building on Manhattan's Lower East Side, smashing windows and terrifying locals in the neighborhood. The manlift leaned against the side of the building, located on Essex Street close to Rivington Street, for approximately one hour before firefighters and emergency personnel were able to secure it. Prior to the rescue onlookers were frantically screaming that the machine was going to go through the window of the building and wreak havoc. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries and limited property damage.


Would You Pass A "Textalyzer" Test?

Texting and driving is no longer simply frowned upon. As a society, we are recognizing that the dangers of texting behind the wheel are on par with driving while intoxicated, threatening the lives of far too many innocent people every year in New York City and throughout the nation. 

State lawmarkers are now proposing a law that would result in the scanning of celllphones after accidents to determine whether the driver was texting in the moments before the crash.