Block O'Toole & Murphy Block
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Worker Severely Injured at Radio Tower & Hotel Construction Site

A construction laborer was severely injured at the Radio Tower & Hotel construction site in Washington Heights, New York on Thursday afternoon, November 7, 2019.

The victim was working in a shaft 30 to 40 feet underground when he was harmed in an accident at around 1:30 p.m. Unable to pull himself out of the shaft, the worker had to be rescued by firefighters, as reported by Patch.com.

A video shared by NYC Scanner shows the worker being lifted to safety as emergency responders executed a confined space rescue. Rescuers secured the accident victim to a backboard which was then lifted out of the shaft using a special crane.

The worker was transported to Harlem Hospital where his injuries were deemed serious but not life-threatening. Further details on the accident have not yet been released as investigations into the incident are ongoing.

We hope for a quick and full recovery for the victim after this difficult experience. Our thoughts are with him and his loved ones at this time.

The incident occurred on Amsterdam Avenue, between 180th and 181st streets in Washington Heights at the construction site for a planned 22-story hotel and office development called Radio Tower & Hotel. The development is planned to rise 263 feet and hold about 260 hotel rooms. The ground floor will feature retail space, private event space, and offices while the roof will house a rooftop restaurant and bar, developers say.

The site was purchased for $12 million by developing company Youngsoo & Associates in 2013. This is architecture firm MVRDV's first project in New York City. Building began in November 2018.

While more details are needed to understand what happened, this incident highlights the dangers construction workers face in their line of work. Employers, contractors, construction site owners, and other parties responsible for worker safety need to strictly adhere to safety rules on construction sites. Confined spaces, for instance, present dangerous conditions that can lead to accidents when not properly controlled.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a confined space as any space that meets the following:

  • Is large enough for a worker to enter
  • Has limited means of entry or exit
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy

Employers must have procedures in place for summoning emergency services in the case of a confined space accident. In order to provide the best aid possible, emergency responders should be familiar with the site location.

All construction workers have the right to a work environment that does not pose serious risk or harm. Workers should be provided with clear training on the safety standards for their specific work environment. If you are worried about the safety of your current work environment, visit our page on Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions. If you were harmed at work in any way, it's important to speak with a lawyer to best understand your legal rights.

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy are dedicated to helping injured construction workers. We have a proven track record of recovering compensation for laborers hurt on the job, including a $12 million settlement for a Local 147 tunnel worker who suffered severe orthopedic and neurologic injuries after he fell approximately 40 feet into a ventilation shaft on a Manhattan construction site.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction site accident, contact the lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy for a free legal consultation by calling 212-736-5300 or filling out an online contact form.

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