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Worker Falls, Hits Head at SoHo Construction Site

A construction worker was injured in a fall and hit his head at a construction site in SoHo at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, September 28th.

The worker fell from the fourth floor to the third causing him to hit his head, according to the New York Daily News. "The medic tried to go up in a tower ladder," said Assane Fall, a private sanitation worker who witnessed emergency personnel rescue the injured worker. "They brought [the worker] down in a basket... He was bleeding from the head when they put him in the ambulance." The injured worker was then brought to Bellevue Hospital for further observation and diagnostics.

This accident occurred at 11 Greene Street, where a rental building owned by Manhattan-based real estate developer Arch Companies is under construction. Building began in early 2018 and is scheduled to be finished sometime in 2019. At the time this accident occurred, three stories of the seven-story building have been completed.

The news of this latest accident is troubling, because so far in 2018 construction accidents were already up 17% in New York City. 24.73% of these 457 accidents have been falls-the leading cause over that time. Tragically, fall accidents have claimed the lives of three NYC construction workers this year.

The danger that falls present is not a new phenomenon. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has previously identified the four hazard types which most often cause construction worker fatalities, year-after-year, nationwide. The leading cause of construction worker deaths, referred to as the "Fatal Four," are:

  • Falls (38.7% of such deaths in 2016, the most recent data which is available)
  • Struck by Object (9.4%)
  • Electrocutions (8.3%)
  • Caught-in/between (7.3%)

With these statistics in mind, it follows that fall protection should be the highest priority for developers, employers, and safety supervisors every time a new construction project begins. Sadly, that doesn't always happen: in 2017, lack of fall protection was the #1 citation issued following OSHA inspections.

Until developers, employers, contractors and safety supervisors begin to make fall protection a higher priority, construction workers will continue to pay the price and suffer from fall accidents which could have been avoided. Here are tips for avoiding falls and falling accidents on construction sites:

  • Hold regular safety meetings to address new hazards which may arise
  • Provide workers with body harnesses and other fall arrest systems which fit properly
  • Ensure that there are adequate anchorage points where workers can "tie off"
  • Confirm that ladders provided on-site are sufficiently tall enough to perform work safely
  • Clean or mark off any areas where the floor is slippery or wet to avoid slip and fall accidents
  • Install guardrail systems with OSHA-compliant toeboards and warning lines
  • Keep walkways clear of debris and tools; designate areas to be used for storage

With safety information being so readily available, there is no excuse for construction workers to be injured due to unsafe working conditions. When this basic duty to provide a safe working environment is neglected, serious accidents and injuries such as this may result.

If you or someone you love have been injured in a fall accident, it is unjust for you to be stuck with medical bills due to somebody else's negligence. The experienced construction accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have a proven track record of successfully litigating fall accidents on construction sites, such as this $12,000,000 settlement for a worker injured in a fall on a subway extension project.

To learn more about our history of success or to receive a free legal consultation, please call 212-736-5300.

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