On the morning of Thursday, July 13, two workers at a construction site in Orchard Beach were seriously injured by a large piece of concrete that fell onto them after a ceiling collapsed. Local reports state that the accident took place around 11 a.m. According to New York City Fire Department (FDNY) chief Kenneth Scanlon, fire officials were called to the scene at Orchard Beach Pavilion, located in the Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park. They found the workers trapped underneath the concrete slab, which measured approximately 15 feet by 20 feet. Due to the severity of this event, 15 FDNY units responded to the call.
Patch reports that the collapse occurred on the top floor of a building that was under construction. The workers were sent to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi for treatment, where they are said to be in “serious but stable condition.” We wish them a complete recovery following this harrowing experience.
It remains unknown what exactly triggered the collapse; officials from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) are investigating alongside the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), a nonprofit which was involved in the construction project. The NYCEDC plans to release a full incident report after gathering information from the construction manager, referred to as Gilbane.
The Danger of Ceiling Collapses
Injuries from falling objects are all too common in the construction industry. In fact, as a type of struck-by accident, ceiling collapses are a part of the “Fatal Four”—the most lethal kinds of accidents that construction workers face year after year. It is extremely fortunate that the two Bronx workers were reportedly wearing safety equipment (helmets) at the time of the collapse. While their injuries are deeply tragic, they could have easily lost their lives.
When a ceiling collapses, the forces involved can be staggering. On average, concrete weighs about 150 lbs per cubic foot; consequently, the concrete piece that came crashing down on these workers could have weighed hundreds of pounds or more. The grave risks of wall and roof collapses at job sites should always be mitigated with attention to structural support for ceilings, including the use of proper building materials. Under the law, safe design of construction sites is the responsibility of the building owners, general contractors, and employers who manage them.
Proven Justice for Those Affected by Ceiling Collapses
For anyone who has been injured by a ceiling collapse, legal guidance can help secure the financial compensation which they deserve, and often need, to move on. The wall and roof collapse lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have spent decades securing justice for injured construction workers, and our record of success is unmatched.
Some of our results for falling object accidents include:
$110,000,000 verdict for a man who was paralyzed by a subway railroad tie that fell onto his spine
$15,000,000 settlement for the family of an HVAC technician who was tragically crushed to death in a construction accident
$7,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who was injured by a falling object in Queens