On July 11, 2023 shortly after 11:00 AM, the Fire Department of Long Beach, NY was notified that a male construction worker fell from scaffolding at 100 E Broadway, located at the intersection of East Broadway and Riverside Boulevard. The man, who fell approximately 12 feet, was found lying on the ground, semiconscious, when Engine 2343, Ambulance 2321, and the Long Beach Police Department and Building Department arrived on the scene. While broken limbs could not be immediately identified, according to a city spokesperson, the fall victim was transported to the Mount Sinai South Nassau Emergency Department in Oceanside for evaluation.
Falling from scaffolding is just one of the many dangerous occurrences that can befall a construction worker. In fact, in its annual 2022 Construction Safety Report, the New York City Department of Buildings found that worker injuries on building construction work sites increased for the second straight year—up 9.7% compared to 2021. And, because scaffolding is incredibly versatile and, often, built to be in use for a temporary period of time, its assemblage can be rushed, making it even more dangerous for the workers—like the Long Beach fall victim—who use it.
In the world of construction, the ramifications of falls intensify when workers are not provided adequate fall protection by their employers. Guardrails are the most common base requirement of a construction site, and certain types of scaffolds require additional, more specific fall protections like yo-yos, or body harnesses, snap hooks, lifelines, and anchorage points. Employers are not only required to provide, for example, yo-yos—they’re also required to ensure that equipment fits all workers on the job, and that the equipment is located on the job site so that their workers have access. Otherwise, a lack of equipment availability can be cited, and contractors or owners could be liable for a worker’s injuries.
The Scaffold Law, or New York Labor Law 240(1), protects workers from a wide range of gravity-related hazards. The Scaffold Law—on which Block O’Toole & Murphy attorneys are expert—is unique to New York and critical to providing a safe workplace to our construction workers. It’s because of this law that fall victims, like the man from Long Beach, can sue third-parties who do not provide adequate fall protection. In a similar recent case, tried by BOM Partners S. Joseph Donahue and Jeffrey A. Block, the Kings County Supreme Court awarded a 53 year-old carpenter $5,000,000 after he fell from scaffolding and sustained multiple injuries. In another case, Partners Jeffrey Block and Dan O’Toole successfully ensured a $5,030,572 recovery for a construction worker who was injured when the scaffolding on his work site tipped over.
Other notable results we have obtained for victims of scaffolding accidents include:
- $9,750,000 settlement for a worker with prior back surgery who was hurt when his scaffold collapsed while he was installing trim to a ceiling at a firehouse in Suffolk County
- $7,000,000 settlement for worker who was hurt while dismantling a scaffold at a construction site in Astoria, Queens
- $6,000,000 settlement for a union worker who fell from a scaffold while performing caulking work in a Brooklyn construction project
We at Block O’Toole & Murphy wish the victim a swift recovery from his injuries, and we applaud the response from our friends at the Long Beach Police and Fire departments who ensured the victim’s safe and quick transport to Mount Sinai South Nassau.