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Reduced Safety Often Accompanies Increased Construction Activity

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The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy hope the massive upswing in construction projects is coupled with a commitment to worker safety. Historically, the two have not gone hand in hand.

The increase in construction around New York is generally viewed as a sign of an economic rebound. Detractors will say it is a mere temporary upswing. Nevertheless, it is certainly a good economic indicator for New Yorkers that we are building and that members of the trades are back doing what they do best.

For New York to continue to grow as the best state in the country, we need the construction industry to thrive. We have seen a dramatic increase in residential high-rise construction, hotel redevelopment, as well as the initiation of mega transportation projects. Construction trades are consistently returning to the workforce. Unfortunately, if past history is a good barometer for future results, work related injuries will also be on the rise.

Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations. Construction workers face daily risks laboring in high places, around heavy construction equipment, toxic chemicals and other construction related hazards. Due to the inherent risks of construction work, construction site owners and general contractors must be diligent in providing adequate safety precautions. Often times workers are placed in a position of danger without the necessary protection or equipment. Failure to have the necessary safety precautions in place can result in serious injuries and wrongful death. In no other industry are workers faced with the dilemma of being seriously hurt or killed because they were not provided the appropriate tools and equipment to keep them safe or as a result of them being asked to perform their job in an unsafe manner. That is not to suggest that construction work is the only dangerous occupation. It isn’t. It is, however, the most dangerous occupation in New York based on credible statistics.

More construction workers are killed every year in New York than police officers or fireman. Imagine the outrage, from the general public and politicians, if members of the police department were being asked to execute warrant raids without bullet proof vests and as a result, cops were dying on the job? That is not much different than construction workers being forced to work at an elevated height without the proper fall protection. Too often, when construction work is on the rise, the focus on safety is replaced by an unquenchable thirst to finish the job faster so the work on the next project can begin. Rushed workers undeniably leads to an unsafe work environment.

New York has specific laws designed to protect construction workers, and in some cases, place responsibility on the site owner and/or general contractor for any safety violations that result in an accident. The laws that govern construction accidents can typically be found in Labor Law sections 240 and 241. Construction accidents, by their very nature, can leave workers seriously injured and left to struggle and cope with the consequences of their injuries. Compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of income may be available to those who find themselves in this difficult situation. Workers have rights they need to know about and they should have a lawyer fighting for them that they trust and feel comfortable with.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a construction-related accident, contact the experienced construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP so you can be informed of your rights. Block O’Toole & Murphy is a boutique law firm that prides itself on providing focused attention to our clients and their cases. Our construction accident lawyers have consistently obtained some of the largest construction accident verdicts and settlements for injured workers in New York State.

The firm has amassed more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for our clients. In fact, the firm has more top published results in New York State than any other firm over the last two years according to reports published in New York Magazine and The New York Law Journal. You can learn more about the firm and some of our success stories at our website at

For a free consultation, you can contact these experienced lawyers at 212-736-5300.