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February 2013 Archives

New York City's Most Dangerous Jobs

Rarely do people think about life or death when they go to work, unless they work in the fields that have been recently profiled as some of the most dangerous jobs in New York. In a recent article, Metro daily newspaper highlighted several New York City industries that expose workers to dangerous conditions and have high risks of 'on the job' accidents. Below is a list of several industries discussed in the article:

Sandhogs: Vital to NYC's Construction, Growth and Expansion

The Sandhogs are synonomous with New York City. Sandhogs are rightfully credited with shaping the biggest, most expansive city in the world. You just may not see their work as often as you see that of other construction workers.

Unfair Law Prevents Victims of Medical Malpractice from Obtaining Justice in New York

New York State continues to be way behind the curve when it comes to protecting medical malpractice victims. Below is an illustration of how a New Yorker was victimized twice because of an antiquated law.

A Safe Workplace: What does it mean in the eyes of the law?

Federal and state labor laws require employers to provide a 'safe workplace.' But what does that mean in the context of construction work? After all, construction involves many dangers-working at elevated heights, underground, in confined spaces, blasting and excavating, hoisting, lifting, cutting, sawing, electrical wiring and operating powerful machinery. And, unfortunately, the dangers are matched with a significant number of construction workers injured and killed on the job. In fact, construction workers had a fatal work injury rate nearly three times that of all workers in the United States in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And three of the ten highest fatal injury jobs were in the construction field: roofers (34.7 per 100,000 full-time workers); structural iron and steel workers (30.3); and laborers (18.3). The leading cause of construction fatalities were falls (and construction workers actually made up almost half of all fatal falls in private industry), followed by transportation-related events, contact with objects and equipment and then exposure to harmful substances and environments.


Heavy equipment is a necessary part of the construction industry and crane accidents are responsible for a large portion of construction injuries and deaths each year. Cranes are complex machines that many individuals are peripherally aware of but few have experience operating or rigging. There are many different types of cranes used in construction that have caused accidents resulting in significant injuries and death to workers who operate the cranes, workers on foot below these cranes, and innocent bystanders who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.


In a city with as much high-rise construction as New York City, crane accidents pose serious threats to construction workers and the public. Nationwide, crane accidents are a leading cause of construction site accidents and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), crane accidents are responsible for about 50 deaths in the U.S. every year. According to the Bureau of labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, 72 crane related occupational fatalities occurred in 2006. In 2012 alone, New Yorker's saw 5 serious crane accidents that claimed 2 worker's lives and caused 13 injuries.


Fortunately, New York State law protects construction workers and requires owners and general contractors to employ appropriate safety devices to keep workers free from injury. OSHA and the Department of Buildings also perform frequent inspections of construction sites, especially those utilizing tower cranes, which are abundant in New York. The law and the various State and Federal regulatory agencies also require crane workers to be trained and certified before being permitted to operate these cranes. Despite the safeguards in place, many crane collapse accidents still occur at construction sites throughout New York. The consequences in a crane collapse are too often catastrophic. The laws need to remain strong so that safety remains a paramount issue at the workplace.

Necessary Training and Safety Precautions for Crane Operation

Crane accidents rarely end well. Usually they end with catastrophic consequences including death, serious injury and significant property damage. As a result, construction cranes in New York have been a source of safety concerns and intense scrutiny, particularly in recent years. Most recently, strong wind gusts from Hurricane Sandy caused a crane to collapse in Midtown Manhattan in October 2012. In 2008 two giant rigs collapsed within two months of each other in Manhattan, killing a total of nine people. Another crane fell and killed a worker in April 2010 at a construction site for a new subway line. These accidents led to new safety measures issued by OSHA in 2010 requiring more safety inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists. Specifically, beginning in 2014, all construction-crane operators must be certified by an OSHA credited crane operator testing facility. (For a complete overview of the 2010 Crane safety rules go to

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

Each year, workers in New York are injured or killed in crane related accidents. Recently, there seem to be more crane accidents than ever before. It is important to know the main causes of crane related accidents so that workers are better informed about important safety precautions. A little knowledge may prevent a lot of accidents. 

The Katie Couric Show Hails 'Block O'Toole & Murphy as a leading firm for medical malpractice cases'

It is no secret to the hardworking men and women that Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP represent that the firm is an industry leader that fiercely protects their clients; Now it is no secret to Katie Couric fans, either. Katie Couric, a name and a face that is immediately recognized in the homes of families across the world, now serves as special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week and primetime news specials. She also hosts the 'Katie Couric Show.' She has handled news stories, large and small, that impact the lives of people all over the world. Recently, her show has focused on medical malpractice; medical mistakes and the tragic consequences for the families that live through them.

Slip and falls the leading cause of traumatic brain injury

A person slips and falls, landing on his or her back and perhaps hits his or her head. New York City residents would be surprised to know that what looks like a harmless slip-and-fall injury can lead to serious consequences. Although the accident may appear to be trivial, it can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Radiologists often fail to diagnose breast cancer: But why?

Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer affecting women. Sometimes, the doctor's assessment of the mammography results is not accurate. Considering the serious consequences of breast cancer, failure to diagnose may prove fatal at times. Nonetheless, according to a recent study published in the journal Radiology, radiologists face many medical malpractice lawsuits because of failure to diagnose breast cancer. New Yorkers may be wondering what leads to these medical errors.

Medication errors: Study shows excessive dosing in nursing homes

Nursing homes patients and residents are expected to get proper and ethical medical care and treatment. Nevertheless, people may be pained and shocked to hear that their loved ones may be subjected to inaccurate dosing, getting prescribed the wrong drug and other errors related to medicines. One of the prevalent causes of medication errors is the incorrect use of prescription medications. This can constitute medical malpractice, and suspected cases may be redressed under New York law.

Excessive work load in New York hospitals causing misdiagnoses?

Notwithstanding the major advances in medical sciences for investigating the causes behind serious illnesses and disorders, the procedures and practices are still not free from errors. The complicated medical investigative procedures can, in some instances, fail to diagnose diseases and conditions. Such failures can lead to lapses in treating serious diseases and conditions in patients in New York and nationwide. Incidents of misdiagnosis can be technical and procedural along with being related to the poor training and work pressure of the health workers.