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. In fact, structural iron and steel workers are listed as having the eighth most dangerous job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These dangerous conditions could lead to serious accidents, and it is important to know what to do when they occur.
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.
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
- 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 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 a myriad of 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.
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:
- 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.
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