Block O'Toole & Murphy
One of New York's Premier Personal Injury Law Firms
Free Initial Consultation
212-736-5300 | 800-246-4993212-736-5300 |800-246-4993

Block O'Toole & Murphy's Blog

Fatal accidents accompany huge increase in NYC construction

New York City is in the middle of a construction boom. Buildings are being renovated and built at an incredible rate. Once-empty lots of land are filling up with incredible new structures, and once-dilapidated buildings are transforming before our very eyes into beautiful pieces of architecture. All of this construction seems like a good thing, and for the most part, it is. It means people have jobs, businesses are doing well and the whole city is looking better as a result.

But this construction boom hasn't occurred without serious consequences, most notably to the people who perform the labor on these projects. Construction deaths have skyrocketed in New York City, and many of these people are undocumented immigrants. The scariest part about these fatal accidents is that they exceed the rate of new construction. That shouldn't be happening, and officials say it is a clear indicator that stricter regulations and new safety laws need to be put in place.

NY Times Highlights Construction Safety Crisis in NYC

Construction throughout New York City has exploded like never before, but the price associated with the city's expansion has been deadly. The number of fatal and serious construction accidents has increased at an alarming rate. Usually, the death of an immigrant, undocumented worker - - a Polish roofer who was working on a small project in Williamsburg or a welder from Mali who was working in the Soundview section of the Bronx - - garners very little attention, perhaps a small blurb in a local tabloid. It matters only to the victim's loved ones.

Is Vision Zero Working to Prevent NYC Pedestrian Fatalities?

vision zeronyc.jpgSeveral hundred people marched from City Hall Park to the United Nations in New York City as part of the recent World Day of Remembrance to honor those killed or injured in traffic crashes. The timing of the event coincided with an alarming spike in traffic fatalities in the city. The march and the 13 pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities highlighted issues around the Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.

NYC Buldings Dept. Cracks Down on Fake OSHA Safety Cards

Tosha training card.jpghe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency charged with keeping workers safe. One of the ways OSHA does this is by providing classes in workplace safety, which many industries require of new hires.

OSHA safety training is required for workers in the New York City construction industry; the agency issues cards certifying that a worker has completed the training. The goal of this training is to reduce injuries and deaths at worksites.

MTA Worker Falls Through Sidewalk Shaft In Brooklyn

On November 18th at 11:30 a.m., an MTA worker was lowering electrical cables down a sidewalk shaft at the corner of Fulton and Downing Streets in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. While doing so, he reportedly fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 20 to 30 feet. The worker was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was last reported to be in serious condition.

As New York construction accident lawyers, we are all too familiar with the dangers associated with working around fall hazards like shafts, holes and trenches. Being exposed to a potential fall of 20 to 30 feet, as this MTA worker was, measures should have been taken to protect him.

What kind of measures? Fall protection devices that will prevent such a precipitous drop are mandatory at all job sites requiring workers to work at elevated heights such as this. But all too often, fall protection is woefully lacking on work sites. In a situation like this one, for example, it is likely that the fall could have been prevented by the use of a simple harness and life line, tied to a stable anchorage point at sidewalk level. One of the very real questions that people should be asking: If fall protection is not embraced at big government jobs like an MTA site, what are the safety conditions at the mom and pop job sites? The answer is not difficult to discern. Safety is often ignored at the smaller, less visible jobs. Safety is even sometimes secondary at bigger, more prominent jobs. Construction accidents continue to increase at an unprecedented rate in 2015 - - and the failure to observe basic safety principles is a big reason why.

Workers' comp issues? Get some legal help

Here's a hypothetical situation for you: one day you go into work, prepared to face the day just like all the others before it. For hours, your work day is routine. Everything is going swimmingly, until all of a sudden, a work accident occurs and you're at the center of it.

The specifics don't matter too much for this hypothetical scenario. Maybe some boxes fell on you, or another employee failed to operate some equipment in a safe and proper manner. The end result is what matters most: you are injured and you won't be able to work for quite some time.

Scaffold Rescue By FDNY Saves Two Workers

Tragedy was avoided this afternoon in midtown Manhattan after two workers had to be rescued after their scaffold became stuck in mid-air. The workers were helplessly hanging over midtown Manhattan, uncertain of their fate, after their movable scaffold lost power while they were suspended 22 stories above the unforgiving concrete jungle.

Members of the FDNY saved the day. They completed the daring rescue by retrieving the workers after cutting through the plate glass window on the 22nd floor of the 30-floor building. Wary New Yorkers roared with approval, some, perhaps, knowing that another construction worker was killed the day before in a senseless Staten Island construction roofing accident.

It is no secret that the number of construction accidents and resulting fatalities have soared in 2015. This story concludes with a happy ending.

NYC Construction Accidents Cause Both Injuries & Fatalities

construction roofing worker.jpgThis blog has frequently reported on construction worker fatalities, discussing the increase from 2014 to 2015 and evaluating the different theories about reasons for the increase. However, we have not discussed the injuries that were reported to the Department of Buildings this year. This post will attempt to remedy that oversight.

Open Season on Pedestrians in NYC?

It appears to be open season on pedestrians in New York City. Eleven people died after being hit by motor vehicles in a 10-day period between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9. Although these numbers are bad, they really are not that unusual. Someone is killed while walking or biking in New York City about once every 36 hours on average. Dozens of people are injured every day.

Elevator accident sends woman to hospital

A woman was listed in stable condition after she fell down an elevator shaft at the Grant Hyatt in New York City. The woman fell six feet and suffered injuries as a result of the fall. It is unclear at this time why the elevator shaft was open and why there was no elevator booth there to save the woman from that fall. An investigation into the incident will certainly turn up some answers.

In the meantime, it is clear that something went wrong here. Whether the elevator itself failed or hotel staff failed is yet to be determined, it seems likely that negligence or a mistake occurred that caused the woman to fall down the elevator shaft -- and yet, we won't know for sure until more concrete information comes out about this accident.