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September 2014 Archives

Study Shows Construction Workers Suffer Mental Distress

Readers of this blog know that serious physical injuries from falls are a major cause of injures among construction workers. Other common causes of injury include equipment failure, being hit by swinging booms and falling building materials, and being buried in shoring accidents.  We seldom write about the non-physical injuries suffered by construction workers.  However, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in 2013 revealed that construction workers also suffer from a variety of job-related mental and emotional illnesses that increase their risk of physical injury.

School Bus Accidents? A Growing Problem?

School bus accidents seemed to be on the increase in New York City during 2013.  There were at least three school bus accidents in which children and adults were injured.  Although this school year is less than a month old, there have already been two accidents.  The most recent crash occurred last week, and was reported by CBS News.

Construction Accident Attorneys Provide Insight on Job Site Falls

Construction work is widely known as a dangerous profession. Most associate the risks of construction work with people laboring at great heights. Few people recognize this reality: As many as 40% of fatal construction falls happen at 15 feet or lower. In fact, more than 5% of fatal construction falls happen at 6 feet or lower. Falls from lower heights can still have steep consequences.

20-Foot Elevator Shaft Fall Seriously Injures Worker In Columbus Circle; Focusing On Elevator Safety Following Tragic Accident

The New York City attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy know a thing or two about how an elevator accident can impact an injured victim and their loved ones. After all, they have helped countless people who have been seriously injured in elevator accidents. Today, they are bringing you news of a frightening elevator accident that took place in Manhattan's famed Columbus Circle. Learn more about the accident and some helpful information about elevator safety, in general, by reading below.

What Does OSHA Do?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency charged with securing the health and safety of 130 million workers in the United States - a daunting task. The federal agency partners with similar state-level agencies, such as the New York State Department of Labor, Division of Safety and Health (DOSH).

The NYC Buildings Department and Construction Accidents

This blog focuses on construction accidents and the dangers to workers at construction sites and other jobsites in New York City. Although employers and building owners are responsible for ensuring that their workplaces are safe, who oversees the employers and building owners to make sure they are in compliance and following city, state and local laws? It's the city's Department of Buildings.

Car Accidents and Defective Airbags

There's been a lot of attention paid recently, including a post in this blog, to the issue of the faulty ignition switches on models of GM vehicles. Somewhat surprisingly, this has eclipsed the much bigger story of faulty airbags in Toyota and other cars. It turns out that there are many more defective airbags than faulty ignition switches in the vehicles driving around New York City and elsewhere.

Rodolfo Vasquez-Galian's Death in NYC Construction Accident Illustrates Risks to Immigrants Who Work Construction

Rodolfo Vasquez-Galian, a 27 year-old construction worker, was crushed to death by a collapsing concrete slab at a Manhattan construction site. The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy did a blog post yesterday on this construction accident.

Buildings Department Announces Decrease in Fatal NYC Construction Accidents

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy continue to follow the trends and news related to the construction industry. Today, we bring you some positive news recently released by the New York City Department of Buildings. The Buildings Department announced a steep decline in fatal construction accidents during the past year.

Construction Workers in New York Safer -- and Legal

Construction workers in New York and Illinois are better protected than workers in other states, according to a report by McClatchy DC that appeared in ProPublica. Why? According to the story, these two states have strict laws about misclassification of employees as independent contractors, a practice that dishonest construction companies use to underbid those who are paying state and federal taxes and insurance.

Information About Claims for GM Car Accident Injuries and Deaths

There have been at least 19 car accident fatalities eligible for compensation because of faulty ignition switches in General Motors cars. GM announced a recall last winter, but has never formally acknowledged either the correct number of fatalities or the number of serious injuries that has resulted from the defective component. This information has come separately, from a spokesperson for the program GM established to handle injury and death claims.

On-the-Job Injuries Among Bricklayers and Masons

Injuries and illnesses affect bricklayers and masons more than the national average; this is true for most construction-related trades. Academic researchers and government agencies have identified conditions and circumstances more likely to result in on-the-job injury or illness.

Two Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents in Brooklyn

Two hit-and-run pedestrian accidents in Brooklyn last weekend have left victims seriously injured and the drivers still at large, according to news reports. The first accident, which occurred early Saturday morning in East New York on Seaview Avenue near Louisiana Avenue, involved an SUV and two pedestrians.

Melania Ward is Tragically Killed in Queens Bus Accident

Bus accidents are a common occurrence in the busy metropolis of New York City. Usually, when passengers are injured in a bus accident, it is while they are on the bus. However, in a somewhat unusual series of events, a fatal bus crash took place this week in the Elmhurst section of Queens where a passenger was crushed by the bus she was riding on, only seconds after she exited the bus.

Hazards of Nail Salons

When thinking about workplace injuries, most of us think about heavy labor jobs, such as construction or the back-breaking work of turning patients in health care facilities. The nail salon, found on almost every commercial block in New York City, has its own workplace hazards to the extent that the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) has issued factsheets and training guides in four languages. The goal of these publications is to alert nail salon employees to the hazards they face and inform them of their rights.

Pedestrian Accidents Greatest Cause of Injury Deaths Among Children

We recently wrote a blog post about the installation of school zone speed cameras to coincide with the beginning of the school year. This initiative comes at an important time: According to the New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, traffic is the biggest injury-related cause of death among children under 15.

Workplace Diesel Smoke Closer to Recognition as a Hazard

A worker's compensation judge recently ruled that a bus mechanic's exposure to exhaust from buses contributed to his death from lung cancer. This reflects growing attention to diesel smoke exposure on the job among public health and workplace safety advocates.

Another Metro North Train Accident

Another Metro North commuter train has derailed. This time, fortunately, there were no injuries reported, probably because the train was a work train with few people aboard.  The train left the tracks at the Highbridge East rail yard in the Bronx, when a car filled with crushed rock left the track.  The incident occurred shortly after midnight on Sunday, and it took workers about five hours to return the car to the rails.  In addition to causing no injuries, the derailment did not affect passenger service.

Preventing Accidents at Road Construction Zones

One worker was killed and another injured when an SUV ran into their equipment at a construction zone on the Garden State Parkway. The SUV hit the work equipment that then struck the workers and a pickup truck. One worker was pronounced dead at the scene. Two others were taken to local hospitals.