Rebar Cage Tips on Queens Construction Site, Injures Workers

Friday, February 10th, 2023

On Monday, contractors were working on the city’s third water tunnel at 46-01 37th Ave at 48th Street in Woodside, Queens, when disaster struck. As the laborers worked on Shaft 17B of the city-run construction site, a rebar cage suddenly tipped over; the incident resulted in five workers being taken to Elmhurst hospital just before noon. One of the workers was seriously injured by the rebar cage, while the other four employees sustained minor injuries, CBS reported

The Department of Environmental Protected stated that it appears that the rebar cage, whose size was not mentioned, fell over and onto the five victims. The accident is currently under investigation.  

The Danger of Rebar Cages on the Job Site 

Rebar cages are used as the “skeleton” of reinforced concrete bridge columns. A rotary-drilling machine is used to create a deep drilled shaft into the ground, into which the cylindrical rebar cage is placed with a crane.  

The rebar cage is used to maintain the shape of the drilled shaft and supplement the structural integrity of the column. Then, concrete is poured into the shaft, completely filling the hollow space in the ground. This method of construction is used to support massive structures such as bridge piers, elevated highways, high-rise buildings, and much more.  

In order to support such weight and prevent catastrophe, rebar cages must be carefully constructed out of several strong steel reinforcement bars, also known as “rebar.” These beams are arranged and connected to resemble a cylinder. Because rebar cages are used for so many projects, they come in a variety of sizes. Large rebar cages, such as those used for bridges and large buildings, can span 200 feet in length and weigh a whopping 40 tons.  

These cages are known to be particularly hazardous because the steel beams are only drawn together with tie wire, making their structure inherently unstable. It is also quite challenging for construction workers to maneuver rebar cages from their horizontal transport position to the vertical position needed for construction, providing ample opportunity for accidents and injuries. 

Due to their hazardous nature and large size, rebar cages pose a serious risk against workers on the job site, as seen in the unfortunate accident that occurred on Monday afternoon. All too often, rebar cages strike, collapse, or fall into construction workers, often impaling victims due to the many steel beams that protrude from the structure. The construction industry continues to be a highly dangerous one, with workers in the construction and extraction industries accounting for almost a quarter of all fatal occupational injuries in 2020. 

Legal Help for Construction Accidents  

If you or a loved one were injured on a construction site, you may be entitled to financial compensation. While you cannot turn back time to keep an accident from happening, you can move forward knowing that justice has been served and negligent parties have been held accountable.  

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have the extensive experience and knowledge necessary to advocate for workers who have been injured on the job and attain the highest financial recovery possible.  

Select results in construction accident cases include:  

  • $7,400,000 settlement for a sheet metal worker who fell three feet from a steel beam, which caused injury to his shoulder, knee, and lower back. 
  • $5,000,000 settlement for a laborer who suffered second-degree electrical burns and spinal injuries after being electrocuted while completing excavation work. 
  • $3,300,000 settlement for a laborer who suffered foot injuries, including a tarsometatarsal joint disruption and fracture, and lumbar spine injury after being struck by falling angle irons on the job 
  • $1,500,000 settlement for an ironworker who became trapped under a rebar cage, causing injuries to his back and shoulder  
  • $1,100,000 settlement for union ironworker whose fingers were severed by steel grating weighing more than 600 pounds 

To learn more about cases like these and the financial compensation that our clients have received, visit our Construction Accident Case Results page.

Call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer today. We serve New York and New Jersey. 


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