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Ironworker Accidents

ironworker at work

Because their jobs frequently require them to erect steel frameworks, balance on I-beams, and manipulate tools high above the ground, falls and other accidents are not uncommon for ironworkers. These dangerous conditions could lead to serious accidents, and it is important to know what to do when they occur.

Need to Know:

  • Structural iron and steel workers are listed as having the eighth most dangerous job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • New York’s “Scaffolding Law,” also known as Labor Law 240, is a law that was created to protect ironworkers who become injured while working from a height
  • As an ironworker, understanding your rights is a fundamental step in protecting yourself from being exploited by an employer before or after injury

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are well-versed in New York’s Labor Law and use their expertise to fight for the rights of New York workers on a daily basis. Our commitment to you is that we will not rest until justice is done on your behalf. We have proudly represented members of Ironworkers Local Unions No. 40, 361, 417, and 580.

In This Article:

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover monetary damages. The ironworker accident attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have the experience and determination to help you pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 212-736-5300 or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Causes of Ironworker Accidents

Ironwork accidents and injuries can happen in a number of ways and for a number of reasons. Some of the common causes include:

  • Falling from a building structure or through unprotected floor opening covers because proper fall protection was not provided
  • Being hit by falling objects on the construction site, such as dropped rebar or debris
  • Defective power tools
  • Welding accidents, which include exploding tanks, ultraviolet radiation burns, toxic fume inhalation, and eye injuries

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, an AFL-CIO affiliate union, also lists some of the primary causes of ironworker fatalities and injuries in the Deadly Dozen Activities and Hazards. Some of these may be less well-known hazards, but they are still just as deadly. These can include material handling injuries during steel erection, caught in-between injuries during hoisting and rigging, impalement from unprotected vertical elements, electrical hazards from power lines, and heat illness or toxic exposure to chemicals and other contaminants.

Clearly, ironworkers face many risks every day while on the job. These accidents can be devastating for workers and their families and can sometimes lead to life-changing conditions. It is important that you consult your case with an attorney who understands Sections 240, 241(6), and 200 of New York Labor Law.

Ironworker Injuries

The work of an ironworker can be very multifaceted, but it can also be extremely dangerous. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) lists cuts, sprains, and muscle strain as some of the common injuries associated with ironwork. Other injuries include:

  • Death
  • Fall injuries including, broken bones and spinal injuries
  • Crushed body limbs and broken bones from falling objects
  • Burns from sparks and metal shavings falling onto the worker
  • Eye damage from the sun’s rays
  • Loss of hearing due to loud and grinding tools

In addition, ironworkers may also suffer injuries from dropped tools, broken scaffolding or building structures, and other construction materials falling from above.

Ways for Ironworkers to Stay Safe on the Job

To reduce the risk of injury, ironworkers must wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as harnesses, hard hats, boots, gloves, and safety glasses. As there is a great deal of climbing, balancing, and reaching, safety devices such as nets, belts, and scaffolding are used to reduce the risk of accidents. Supervisors must also make sure to keep their workplace safe for their employees and make sure work sites are properly inspected.

Workers must also do their part in understanding their legal rights. Regardless of immigration status, workers have the right to:

  • Notify their employer of work safety concerns
  • File an official complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • File for and receive workers’ compensation
  • Receive paid sick leave

If you were injured at your New York work site and believe someone else’s negligence contributed to causing your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

You may be entitled to compensation even if your own negligence partially caused the injuries you sustained in a work-related accident. Falls from height at work can often be prevented if your employer or the general contractor provides an adequate safety device. 

How Labor Law 240 Protects Ironworkers

If you were injured at a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and past and future loss of income. Not every accident at work qualifies for special protections of New York Labor Law Statute. However, if you were caused to fall from a height or if you were hit by a falling object at a construction site, you may have a third-party action against the general contractor and owner of the premises where the accident occurred.

Section 240 of New York State Labor Law, the “Scaffolding Law,” is the statute designed to protect ironworkers who were injured while working at height. Similarly, if you were caused to trip and fall in a passageway, you may be entitled to compensation in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Section 241(6) of New York State Labor Law provides special protection to construction workers who were injured on the job where specific provisions of Industrial Code Rule No. 23 were violated. It is very important that you consult your case with an attorney who specializes in Labor Law cases who will be able to guide you and advise whether you have a third-party case.

Contact an Ironworker Accident Lawyer Today

At Block O’Toole & Murphy, clients come first. We offer individualized attention to all clients who walk through our doors and have resolved multiple cases for ironworkers to their satisfaction. In a video review, a union ironworker discussed the impact that his handling attorneys had on him during the course of the lawsuit.

Select results for ironworkers harmed on the job include:

  • $6,400,000 settlement for a union ironworker who fell through a drop ceiling, suffering a broken tailbone
  • $4,475,000 settlement for the family of a union ironworker foreman who was killed after the temporary flooring he was walking on collapsed, causing him to fall 10 feet
  • $3,700,000 settlement for a worker who fell from unsecured scaffold planks, sustaining injuries to his head, neck, and lower back
  • $1,400,000 settlement for a worker who suffered a leg injury due to a falling beam
  • $1,100,000 settlement for a union Journeyman ironworker who lost parts of his fingers in a construction site accident

If you or someone you love have been injured in a serious accident, call 212-736-5300, or contact us online to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation. We serve New York and New Jersey.

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