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June 2014 Archives

Sources of NYC Workplace Accident Statistics

Statistics about work-related injuries and fatalities in New York City are available from a number of sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and the New York State Department of Labor. What can we learn from this statistical information? Several examples follow.

Fatigue an Occupational Hazard for Truck Drivers, Part 1

Truck driver fatigue has been in the news recently because of the truck accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike 45 miles south of New York City. The trucker admitted that he had had no sleep for the 24 hours before the accident. Amazingly, accidents like this happen all the time, and federal regulators have tried to enact rules that limit the number of hours a driver can work before taking a required rest.

New York Food Workers Suffer Workplace Accidents at a Surprising Rate

It turns out that nearly half of the workers at New York City's food plants have been injured workplace accidents. The study, conducted by the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project and released June 24, reported that 42 percent of workers who prepare and pack food products said they were hurt on the job.

Bicycle Accidents Not Increased by Bike-Share Program

About one year ago, New York City began its bike-share program. Many commentators predicted a traffic disaster, claiming that the rental bicycles would be ridden by tourists who did not know the city and residents who seldom rode bikes in the city's traffic. A Wall Street Journal writer penned an article titled, Death by Bicycle." A Rutgers University professor predicted that bicycle accidents would triple after the implementation of Citi Bike.

Death of Temp Worker in Workplace Accident Results in OSHA Violations


osha safety first sign.jpg The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has citied five companies in the death of an Amazon employee in a warehouse in New Jersey. This happed one week after OSHA started investigating the death of a worker in another warehouse, this one in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The worker was crushed after being pulled into a conveyor belt while performing sorting work.

Construction Workers Rescued After Scaffolding Accident

The NYC construction accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP are following a frightening potentially tragic accident that occurred last Friday morning, June 20, 2014, at a construction site on East 57th Street in Manhattan. An exterior scaffold on a hi-rise building collapsed, leaving two workers scrambling for their lives while dangling some 12 stories high and over the crowded city street below.

Tour Bus Causes Serious Pedestrian Accident

Tourism is a primary industry in New York City. However, it carries with it some dangers. Visitors are not familiar with traffic patterns and may step into traffic not realizing that a vehicle is coming. Tour buses ply the city, sometimes going into very narrow streets. The driver often sits well above the pavement with a line of sight that may not reveal everything on the street below. A recent tour bus accident seriously injured an elderly pedestrian in Manhattan, illustrating the dangers posed by these types of buses.

Preventing Forklift Accidents, Part 2

A previous blog post discussed steps that employers and workers can take to prevent forklift accidents such as the one that recently killed a worker in Brooklyn. This post outlines preventive measures involving nearby pedestrians, mechanical problems with equipment and the importance of correct loading techniques that can reduce the incidence of this type of workplace accident.

Nassau County, NY, Teen Killed by Hit and Run Driver

A Nassau County girl with Down Syndrome was killed by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday morning. She was attempting to cross the Hempstead Turnpike, a six-lane highway, possibly in an effort to visit her grandfather a few miles away in Hicksville. She was struck by a minivan, described by police as a blue Chrysler Town and Country that was two or three years old. EMTs took the girl to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. She was pronounced dead by hospital staff around 4:30 AM.

NY Senator Calls for Changes to Prevent Trucking Accidents

In the aftermath of the trucking accident on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed one man and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) advocated for a change in how truckers operate. He requested that the U.S. Department of Transportation move faster toward requiring trucks to use electronic devices, known as black boxes, to monitor truck driver sleep breaks. Most drivers today use paper and pencil to keep track of their hours.

Preventing Forklift Accidents, Part 1

Forklift trucks are everywhere, from supermarkets to construction sites. However, a recent forklift accident that killed a worker in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn reminds us that these are dangerous machines that can cause injury or death . It is important to have the right training on the operation of the forklift to prevent accidents. Additionally, keeping machines like this properly maintained and serviced is critical to their safe operation.

Walmart Driver Seeks to Elude Blame in Deadly Crash That Critically Injured Star Tracy Morgan

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy continue to follow the fatal trucking accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan. One individual was killed in the collision and Tracy Morgan remains in critical collision. Still, Kevin Roper, the renegade truck driver who caused the deadly accident remains defiant, blaming the media and the celebrity status of Morgan for his plight.

Tracy Morgan Collision: Investigation Focuses On Truck Driver's Lack Of Sleep

The NY lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP continue to follow the tragic trucking accident that occurred last weekend on the New Jersey Turnpike, which severely injured former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast member Tracy Morgan. When the Walmart tractor-trailer operated by Kevin Roper crashed into the rear of Morgan's Mercedes limo bus on a busy stretch of the Turnpike around 1 a.m. on Saturday, it injured four and took the life of comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair.

Insurance Industry Waffles on Scaffold Law That Prevents Construction Accidents

Some construction contractors have been faced with rising premiums to maintain adequate insurance on jobs they are handling. They say the premiums are making it challenging for them to run their businesses in New York State. Other contractors, particularly smaller ones in less populated regions of the state, are barking that the premiums are so high that they are unable to even afford the necessary coverage to get a job.

FMCSA Fails to Prevent Bus Accidents, Part 1

We have blogged before on the dangers of so-called "curbside buses." A February investigation by the Boston Globe pointed out serious safety and regulatory problems that endangered the lives of millions of passengers report. The bottom line: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees the bus industry, is stretched too thin to handle the rapidly growing number of discount bus companies. The result is that drivers fail drug tests and license reviews but keep on driving.

New Jersey Trucking Accident Injures Comedian

When celebrities are involved in motor vehicle accidents, the media pays more attention. This unfortunate fact is exemplified by the recent horrific accident in which comic Tracy Morgan were seriously injured in a truck crash on the New Jersey Turnpike this past weekend. One person died in the accident, and Tracy Morgan and his assistant were critically injured. Two others in the luxury van were hurt, but not as badly. The media is all over this story, shining a spotlight on a variety of factors that are common in truck accidents.

Drunk Driving Car Accident

Car accidents caused by drunk drivers are all too frequent, and pedestrians and other drivers injured by drunk drivers need to determine their legal options in the aftermath of an accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt in a recent crash in Yonkers caused by a drunk driver. However, there was extensive property damage caused by the out-of-control driver, according to news reports.

Council Approves Laws to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

Last week, the New York City Council considered several bills designed to improve pedestrian safety on the streets of New York. Last month, eight pedestrians were killed in accidents in New York. Mayor de Blasio has vowed to stop the carnage with his Vision Zero plan. However, more than new crosswalks and stop lights are needed, according to an article in New York magazine.

Scaffold Law: "If You've Never Worked 700 Feet in the Air, Then You Have No Idea What It's Like"

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy represent injured workers, which is no surprise to any of our followers. Too often during the heated discussions concerning New York's scaffold law, the rhetoric loses sight of the actual workers.

Queens Construction Accident Kills, Worker Falls Down Elevator Shaft

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP are following a horrific construction accident that unfolded Thursday at an ongoing project at 45-45 42nd Street in the Sunnyside section of Queens. The project, when completed, is supposed to be a public school. Reportedly, a worker was killed after falling down an elevator shaft from the 5th floor of the 6 story building where the work is being performed. Another worker, who had been on the 4th floor, was apparently injured by falling debris.

One Hardhat Killed & Another Injured in Queens Construction Accident

One construction worker has been killed and another injured in a tragic Queens construction accident. The accident occurred earlier this morning at 45-45 42nd Street in the Sunnyside section of Queens.

Jose Duran, Truck Driver, Killed By Renegade Manhole Cover

Jose Duran, a 35 year-old married father to three children, was killed in a freak truck accident on the Cross Bronx Expressway early yesterday morning. Duran, a truck driver from Springfield, Massachusetts, was driving west on the Cross Bronx Expressway near the Tremont section of the Bronx in a 2010 tractor trailer. A sewer cap violently and unexpectedly crashed into the windshield of Duran's rig as he was navigating the ordinarily treacherous road. The sewer cap went through the windshield and struck him in the head, causing him to veer out of control and slam into another truck.

Prevent Pedestrian Accidents in NYC: Walk to Work! Part 1

A staffer at the National Resources Defense Council has written a blog post about pedestrian safety in big cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Honolulu. Around 10 percent of people in those cities walk to work. In Boston, at least 15 percent of people walk to work, over five times the national average.

Fall Prevention Week Focuses on Reducing Construction Accidents

The New York City lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy often focus on the different ways to reduce the number of construction falls in the workplace. This week they join the United States Department of Labor and O.S.H.A. in the annual National Safety Stand-Down.