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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Cranes can be involved in deadly construction accidents

In recent years, the major New York City newspapers have all carried stories of catastrophic crane accidents that left workers and passers-by with injuries, some of which proved fatal.

The Big Apple isn't the only metropolitan hub that has experienced these type of heavy equipment failures, however. In a single year, in various regions of the United States, 72 people died in crane-related accidents. Sadly, that's not even the highest number of fatalities, as during one two-year period, deaths attributable to crane mishaps averaged at 78 deaths each year.

Construction workers fear for safety on the job

According to a recent survey by the National Safety Council, 58 percent of those who work in the construction industry in the United States feel like safety is secondary to job task completion and productivity.

More than half of American construction workers surveyed said that management at their companies do only the minimum under the law to ensure their workers' safety. Another 47 percent of construction workers stated that workers fear for their jobs if they report safety concerns or violations.

Queens bus collision kills 3, injures 16 others

Earlier this month, three people lost their lives when two buses got into an accident in Queens. Additionally, 16 others suffered injuries, some critical.

The tragedy unfolded on Sept. 18, at approximately 6:15 a.m. in Flushing. Two buses -- one, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus, the other a charter that is operated and owned by Dahlia Travel and Tours -- collided when the charter bus slammed into the MTA bus at a high rate of speed. The driver of the Q20 MTA was attempting to turn right where Northern Blvd. and Main St. intersect.

Who is at fault when a tenant falls to her death?

Who is responsible for the death of a woman who falls six feet out of a loft bed in a New York City apartment? Is the building owner or maintenance supervisor to blame or should the woman be blamed for clumsily losing her footing on the ladder?

The answer depends on multiple factors. For instance, was there a structural deficiency in the ladder up to the loft or the loft itself that caused or contributed to the fatality? Had she been nagging management to fix a problem that ultimately wound up killing her?

Minimizing the risk of electrocution on construction sites

Most construction workers in New York are aware of the dangers and hazards they face when they are on the job. However, they may not know that the risk of electrocution is great. Fatal injuries from electrical hazards are a leading cause of death for many construction workers. Countless others suffer nonfatal wounds from electrical construction accidents

Electrical hazard accidents are preventable. Some electrical accidents are due to worker carelessness; others are because of employer negligence. Workers should take the following safety recommendations into consideration before they arrive at their worksites. 

Take action if you are injured at a construction site

Construction workers need to have a safe work environment. When this doesn't exist, there is a chance that the workers might suffer injuries. These can be very serious, so construction workers should learn about what options they have to address their concerns.

Some of the injuries that construction workers suffer can be life-threatening. Others can be life-altering. Think about how much a person's life would be damaged if they suffered a spinal cord injury or brain injury. Both of these injuries could mean that the person can't function normally. We know that is can be very frustrating and disheartening.

Are you at risk of lead poisoning due to a negligent landlord?

If you live in a New York City dwelling that was constructed prior to 1978, your home or apartment probably has some lead-based paint on either the exterior or interior. That can be quite dangerous, especially for young children.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that there are approximately 24 million dwellings here in America with some remnants of deteriorated lead-based paint. There are no levels that are considered safe when it comes to lead in the environment.

Is your New York City landlord safety-conscious or neglectful?

Is your New York City apartment building properly maintained, or is it full of safety hazards that could prove tragic? Responsible landlords want their tenants to be safe, so they are proactive about maintenance and repairs.

Use the following checklist to determine whether your apartment building's owner is a champ or a chump about tenant safety.

  • Do maintenance workers perform daily maintenance tasks, e.g., sweeping and mopping the walkways and lobby area, making sure exits are kept obstacle-free, etc.?
  • Are the walls and sidewalks riddled with graffiti and other signs of vandalism? Is the sidewalk surface smooth and damage-free?
  • Are there loose handrails on the stairways? Is any carpeting ripped or an otherwise hazard to tenants?
  • How is the lighting, both inside the building and outside? Is it adequate year-round, with burnt out or broken light bulbs quickly replaced?
  • Are there working security cameras, and do all security locks latch properly?
  • Do the elevators work, or are they prone to malfunctioning?
  • Are smoking detectors in working order, with fresh batteries? What about the fire alarm — does it get tested periodically?
  • Is there a protocol for evacuation of the tenants in an emergency? Is this posted prominently? Do tenants know to whom to report maintenance issues?
  • Is the grass and foliage kept trimmed, indoor puddles from wet shoes and clothing mopped promptly and walkways outdoors kept free of snow and ice?

Ney York scaffold laws and construction accidents

Falls from a height and falling objects number among the more common types of construction accidents. They also bear the risk of very serious injury and even death.

New York State's scaffolding laws, codified in Labor Law Section 240, aim to set up safeguards to protect construction workers from dangerous conditions that might lead to falls.

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