Lawyers for Carpenters Hurt on the Job
Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest and most important trades. Woodworkers and carpenters are the largest group of building trade workers, working everywhere from construction sites and buildings to homes. Although extremely rewarding, the job of a carpenter can be dangerous and comes with great risk. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that carpenters experience a higher-than-average rate of injuries and illnesses.
The experienced attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have been representing carpenters and construction workers for over 30 years and know the toll these accidents can take on the victims and their families. We have proudly represented members of the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and Local Unions 11, 1163, 19, 286, 37, 66, and 747.
The carpenter injury attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have one of the best track records in litigating lawsuits for carpenters hurt on the job, including $7 million and $5.88 million settlements. If you or a loved one has been injured in a carpenter accident, we are here to help. Contact Block O’Toole & Murphy at 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a FREE case evaluation today.
Common Carpenter Job Hazards
In 2019, carpenters held about 1 million jobs. Carpenters and woodworkers are tasked with many different projects on a construction site. They follow blueprints and building plans, install structures and fixtures to homes and businesses, measure and cut wood, and instruct and direct other construction workers. Some of the tools they use to cut and shape wood—including chisels, sanders, nail guns, and welding machines—puts them at risk for serious injury. Because they often work in cramped spaces indoors and high altitudes outdoors, carpenters are at risk for falls, slips, and contact with dangerous objects and equipment. Some of the other hazards they face while on the job include:
- Falls from unstable structures such as ladders, scaffolds, beams, and roofing
- Injuries from falling objects
- Risk of chemical exposure, which can lead to respiratory problems
- Risk of inhaling/exposure to wood particles
- Equipment malfunction, including nail gun accidents
- Electrocutions and shocks from exposed wires
Carpenter and woodworking accidents can lead to serious injuries that can heavily impact a person’s life. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand how devasting some of these injuries can be, which is why we fight for the full amount of compensation our clients deserve, to help them get the best medical attention. Common types of carpenter injuries can include the following:
- Hand fracture injuries
- Eye injuries from sawdust
- Lacerations and amputations from saws, levels, sanders, and other hand tools
- Joint injuries
- Herniated discs
- Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries
How To Protect Yourself From Carpentry Accidents
With construction being one of the most dangerous professions, job site safety should be a priority for both employers and workers. Employers must ensure that safety training programs are up to date and provided for all workers. They must also conduct regular site inspections for fall hazards and other safety equipment. Workers should also be attentive to workplace safety practices and report any misconduct to their supervisor or contractor, or contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA will keep your information confidential. Some preventative steps you can take to protect yourself on the job include:
- Inspect your work area for possible hazards before and after a job
- Keep your tools and equipment in good working order and make sure to inspect them before use
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) including goggles, ear plugs, masks, and hard hats
- Be alert at all times
Construction injuries and accidents can be avoided by complying with the basic safety regulations. Many tradespeople either do not receive enough formal training or do not receive any before working on a job. Not having the correct training puts everyone at risk.
Unsafe working conditions are one of the many common causes of construction accidents and injuries. In one case, our attorneys obtained a $7,000,000 settlement for a union carpenter who was struck in the face by a five-pound metal clamp that fell on him after dismantling a scaffold. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy argued that the defendants in the case violated the New York State Labor Law 240(1) by failing to secure the metal clamp and preventing it from falling and hitting the carpenter.
Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, is a law that requires building owners and general contractors to provide workers with the proper protection against falls and fall-related accidents, some of the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the carpentry and construction industries. Some of the rights of workers under this law include:
- The right to work on a properly constructed and maintained scaffold with guard rails on all open sides
- The right to have secure planking where workers stand on scaffolding
- The right to have a body harness attached to a lanyard
It is important to know your rights. It is against the law for employers to require a worker to perform a task if the worker has not gone through the proper training. A contractor or manager must also provide protection for their workers to prevent falls or being struck by a falling object.
If you become injured on a work site, you should follow these steps:
- Notify your supervisor and report your injury within 30 days of the date of the accident; not doing so within the 30 days may cause the worker to lose workers’ compensation benefits
- Take pictures, if possible, of the construction site where the injury occurred
- Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible
- Complete a claim for workers’ compensation. If a claim is not filed within two years from the date of the injury, the worker may lose the right to benefits
- Contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options if you feel you may have a negligence case
Our Carpenter Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
Combining hands-on knowledge of New York Labor Law with a passion for pursuing results on behalf of hardworking people, our carpenter accident attorneys are here to advocate for full and fair compensation for work injury victims. We have earned a nationwide reputation for making sure both juries and insurance companies understand exactly how a carpentry accident can impact the life of a worker, as well as the lives of his or her family members.
Some of our carpenter accident case results include:
- $7,000,000 settlement for a union carpenter who was struck in the face by a five-pound metal clamp that fell on him after dismantling a scaffold
- $5,885,000 settlement for an undocumented worker doing general carpentry work when he fell 18-20 feet from a ladder placed on top of a scaffold, resulting in serious arm, wrist, and back injuries
- $5,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who sustained multiple injuries to his head, neck and back after falling from a scaffold
- $4,500,000 settlement for a carpenter who required cervical spine surgery after he fell from a ladder he was forced to place atop a scaffold
- $4,000,000 settlement for a union carpenter with several knee and back injuries that required multiple surgeries, after the ladder he was working on fell over
- $3,500,000 settlement for a journeyman carpenter who suffered head injuries while constructing a scaffold
- $3,400,000 settlement for a union carpenter who suffered severe knee injuries, eventually requiring a total knee replacement, after falling off a scaffold with no safety net in place
- $3,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who sustained head and wrist injuries after falling from a ladder
- $3,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who required multiple surgeries after he tripped on exposed wires and fell two feet onto a concrete deck
- $2,225,000 settlement for a carpenter foreman who was entering a freight elevator when an unsecured steel-rated door fell and struck him in the back, resulting in neck and back pain that required surgery
- $2,150,000 settlement for a union carpenter who suffered neck and back injuries, as well as neuropsychological damage, when he was struck in the face by an unsecured piece of wood
- $2,000,000 settlement for a union carpenter foreman who suffered multiple severe injuries, including a brain hemorrhage, when he fell five feet while attempting to use an unsecured staircase
- $1,950,000 settlement for a union carpenter who was knocked off a scaffold by a 100-pound falling object, resulting in multiple shoulder injuries and herniated discs
- $1,750,000 settlement for an undocumented worker who was completing carpentry work when he fell off a ladder placed atop a rolling scaffold, causing him to sustain multiple injuries
- $1,600,000 settlement for a carpenter who was patching holes in the ceiling of his work site when the rolling scaffold he was standing on got caught in a hole in the floor, causing him to fall
- $1,400,000 settlement for a carpenter who required a complete amputation of his ring and middle fingers due to injuries sustained while operating a table saw
- $1,325,000 settlement for a 24-year-old carpenter who suffered facial fractures and a herniated disc that required surgery after he fell 12-16 feet from a ladder placed on a scaffold