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Midtown Manhattan Building Collapses During Demolition

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are bringing you details of another frightening construction accident that took place today in New York City. The setting was bustling midtown Manhattan.

Earlier this afternoon a 3 story building on the west side of Manhattan collapsed onto workers who were involved in an ongoing demolition project. Thus far one worker has been reported injured from this West 57th Street incident. It could have been a lot worse. The frightening reality when one views the photographs of the partially collapsed structure is that any safety failures during a project of this magnitude can easily cause severe disabling injuries and fatalities to any number of workers on the job site.

Dismantling a 3 story commercial parking facility involves everyone from structural engineers to safety consultants to plumbers, electricians, operating engineers, excavators, demolition specialists, laborers, carpenters and other construction workers. On any given day during this project there could be hundreds of workers on site. While early reports on this accident indicated that the safety netting around the perimeter of the building seemed to partially contain the damage and prevent debris from spilling onto the roadway, the photographs also show entire sections of wooden perimeter safety scaffolding that collapsed and landed 2 stories below. It is easy to see how a worker who wasn’t provided with a safety harness, lanyard and a safe place to tie off could have been severely injured in this accident. It is equally plausible that a laborer working below in an area that should have been evacuated could receive a crushing or fatal injury from falling objects.

Again, it doesn’t get any more dangerous than the work we ask construction workers to perform on an everyday basis.

An accident of this nature can occur when some part of the structure isn’t properly braced while an adjoining section is dismantled. This sort of accident can also be caused by the use of heavy equipment such as bobcats on higher floors. What is clear is that it is the legal responsibility of the owner and general contractor on a construction project like this to ensure that all workers on the site have proper safety equipment to avoid accidents resulting from the effects of gravity – a worker falling from a height or a worker being injured by a falling unsecured object.

When workers are injured in these sorts of accidents it can be a terrifying and confusing time for their families. They need to know how medical expenses will be paid for. They need to know what will happen now that they are unable to work. Workers injured in construction accidents deserve representation by attorneys who are qualified to protect the injured worker’s rights to the fullest extent of the law. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy LLP have been the leading advocates for construction workers’ rights and have advocated tirelessly on behalf of such workers, recovering more than $850 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients.

If you or someone you know is injured in a construction accident, please consult a competent attorney to see that your rights are protected.