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November 2015 Archives

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contractor's License Suspended After Death of Construction Worker

construction worker 3.jpgThe reaction to construction worker Christina Ginesi's fatal work accident perfectly illuminates the problems within The Department of Buildings in New York City. Ginesi, you may remember, fell more than 20 stories while working on an elevator during a job at a hotel in Manhattan. His death sparked a fair amount of media coverage and led to an investigation into the entities responsible for safety at the site. We hope his family and friends continue to be strong and cope with this terrible tragedy.

What happens when you go back to your job after workers' comp?

Most employees in the United States are entitled to workers' compensation should they suffer a medical illness or injury as a result of their job. This compensation is great not just for financial support, but also for providing emotional and mental relief. It would be easy for someone to be stressed and scared about their well-being after a work accident or incident if they had no income. For the most part, workers' comp solves this.

Suing an employer after an accident is complicated

Imagine that you go to work one day and you suffer an injury due to something that happened while you were performing your job duties. You will almost certainly get some workers' compensation benefits as a result of this incident -- but you may also be thinking that you should sue your employer for the incident.

Why New York's scaffolding law is so important

As many New Yorkers know, scaffolding has a complicated presence in our state. Now, obviously, on a literal level, scaffolding isn't that complicated. It provides necessary structure for construction workers when they are on the job. Without scaffolding, construction workers wouldn't be able to reach certain heights and precarious areas on buildings. And without scaffolding, many projects would go unfinished.

Politicos Spar Over Proposed Changes to Elevator Safety Laws

Elevator safety is in the news again. Thankfully, this time it is not related to a horrible accident in which an innocent victim is injured or killed. Instead, the news relates to Mayor Bill de Blasio sparring with upstate lawmakers concerning the best way to keep New York City elevators safe. The news comes after a recent rash of stomach turning elevator fatalities. Will these proposed changes actually make elevators safer or is this more unnecessary red tape for workers to navigate?

Fatal Building Collapse Kills Pedro Basilico and Seriously Injures Kairo Garcia

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a construction accident law firm that has been involved in many significant building collapse cases, so we are very carefully following the facts of last Friday morning's tragic collapse at 25 West 38th Street in Manhattan as they continue to emerge. The worker who was killed in the collapse has now been identified as Pedro Basilico, a 26-year-old Brooklyn resident who came to this country as a teenager seven years ago and worked hard so he could send money to his family in Mexico.