On Monday, March 16, 2020, 30-year-old Ricardo Martinez was seriously injured on a construction site in Orange County, New York. At around 11:00 a.m., Monroe State Police responded to a call after Martinez fell from a fourth-floor window at 18 Israel Zupnick Drive in Kiryas Joel.
Upon their arrival, police found Martinez unconscious and performed CPR until he could be transported by ambulance to Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown. He remains in critical condition with a serious head injury.
Later investigation into the incident revealed that Martinez, employed by Garfield Plumbing & Heating, was attempting to move a 3-inch by 20-inch PVC water pipe into a small opening on the outside of the building from a rear fourth-story window. As he hung out of the window, Martinez unfortunately lost his balance and fell to the ground below. Police report that no safety equipment was used prior to the fall.
Our hearts are with the victim and his loved ones after this terrible accident. We hope for a quick and complete recovery for Mr. Martinez.
Construction remains one of the most dangerous industries for laborers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2018, 1 in 5 worker deaths were in the construction industry. Of these fatalities, more than half (58%) were attributed to the Fatal Four, the name OSHA gives the top four most common construction hazards.
The Fatal Four include:
- Struck by object
- Caught-in/ between
Fall injuries account for the highest number of annual construction deaths (about 34%). Safety precautions against fall injuries should be a number one priority on every construction site, yet OSHA reported fall protection as the number one most frequently cited violation in 2018. In the case of Monday’s tragic accident, the worker should have been provided with proper fall protection that would have likely prevented him from suffering a four-story fall.
OSHA mandates the following fall prevention standards on job sites:
- Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment
- Install and maintain perimeter protection
- Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers
- Use ladders and scaffolds safely
Employers must set up job sites in a way that best protects workers from the risks associated with construction. It is important that workers understand their right to a safe work environment. If a worker has been seriously injured while on the job, it may be in their best interest to contact an attorney with experience in construction accidents.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are dedicated to helping the victims of construction accidents that have resulted due to another party’s negligence. Our results include an $11,000,000 settlement for a worker who fell three stories while working on a Brooklyn construction site as well as a $7,400,000 settlement for a worker who was injured when he fell on a Brooklyn renovation project site.