Three people were injured after scaffolding was blown off of a 12-story building onto the courtyard of an adjacent bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
High winds blew the scaffolding off of Parlour Condominiums, causing debris to crash through glass above an “open-air patio space” at an adjacent bar called Mission Dolores, according to CBS. Three people were injured, including one woman who sustained serious head injuries and had to be rushed to the hospital.
The Department of Buildings (DOB) issued four violations to the contractor, named Silvercup Scaffolding, for their failure to properly construct the scaffolding and to safeguard the construction site. Disturbingly, this is nothing new for the general contractor on this project, as they have already received a dozen safety violations this year and five safety violations in the month of June alone.
Other parts of the scaffolding were carefully dismantled on Sunday night. The DOB issued a Full Vacate Order to Mission Dolores due to the damage to the glass skylights in the courtyard, although they insist that there is “no further immediate hazard to the public,” according to Bkylner. Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the accident.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the patrons of the bar who were injured in this accident, and to their loved ones who will help them get through this trying time.
Scaffolding is so common in New York City that you might stop noticing it after a while, but make no mistake: scaffolding can be extremely dangerous if it is not assembled or guarded correctly. In fact, scaffolding accidents cause roughly 4,500 injuries and 60 deaths nationwide every year.
Scaffolding needs to be properly constructed, guarded, braced and secured to prevent a collapse. Although specific violations haven’t been revealed, the fact that the DOB issued citations for inadequate scaffold construction indicates the contractor likely failed in one of these areas. Silvercup Scaffolding is responsible for having a “competent person” inspect a scaffold after it has been constructed to ensure it will not collapse.
OSHA scaffold standards also indicate that scaffolding be inspected “before each work shift and after any occurrence that could affect the structural integrity” of the scaffold. Because it doesn’t seem that work was ongoing when this accident occurred, the question becomes: was there ongoing work that required the scaffold in question to still be up? Scaffolding should be dismantled as soon as it is no longer required to safeguard against unusual weather events as the high winds that seemingly precipitated this accident.
Thorough investigation will be required to determine why this accident occurred and when the last time the scaffold was inspected or used. While the investigators work to definitively answer these questions, we hope that the victims of this accident make a quick and complete recovery from the injuries they suffered.
The attorneys of Block O’Toole & Murphy have a track record of winning top compensation for people who have been injured in scaffolding accidents, such as:
- $7,000,000 settlement for a worker who was struck by a piece of metal that fell from a scaffold
- $3,411,000 settlement for a man who was struck in the face by falling scaffold debris
- $3,000,000 settlement for a worker who suffered numerous injuries in a scaffold collapse