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Construction Accidents: Ladder Safety Tips

Construction workers suffer from some of the highest injury rates within the domestic workforce. According to a report from the United States Department of Labor, “one in five worker deaths . . . [are] in construction.” In the year 2017, 971 construction workers were either killed or fatally injured while on the job. What was the leading cause of these fatalities? According to the Department of Labor, almost 40 percent of worker deaths were the result of serious falls.

There are several factors that may be linked to the high number of fall deaths among construction workers, including the unsafe use of ladders. In a publication from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), researchers stated that “ladders are [a] major [source] of injuries and fatalities among construction workers . . . many of [these] injuries are serious enough to require time off the job.”

For any worker, taking time off work to receive medical treatment can have devastating financial consequences — especially if that treatment is long-term. If you work in construction, you can reduce your risk of falling by following a few important safety tips:  

  • Make sure that the ladder you are using is well-maintained and does not have any defects or weak points
  • Place the base of the ladder is on a strong, level surface
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Clean and maintain the soles of your shoes to maximize traction
  • Use towlines, a tool belt, or an assistant to carry your tools while climbing
  • If you are standing on a ladder, do not under any circumstances try to move it
  • Do not overextend, overreach, or lean away from a ladder while you are on it, as you could lose your center of balance and risk falling off
  • Follow the “Three Point-of-Contact Climb” rule, where you always maintain at least three points of contact with your limbs to the ladder while climbing.

Contact a New York Falling Hazard Attorney

Employers have a responsibility to their workers to maintain a safe, hazard-free working environment. If you were hurt in a ladder injury due to inadequate training, safety, supervision, or another reason, contact the New York construction accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and your legal options.

 

 


Construction Accidents in New York State Have Increased by 39%

According to the United States Department of Labor (USDL), construction work was named one of the most physically demanding types of labor in 2018. Workers are exposed to many on-site risks, including fall hazards, dangerous machinery, and chemical exposure. In fact, these risks are so alarmingly common that construction workers have some of the highest rates of illness and injury out of every occupation in America, according to the USDL.

While New York City has experienced a 23% decrease in fatal injury rates for construction workers, the overall rate in New York State has increased by 39% within the past five years. This information was revealed in a 2019 report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, which also states that OSHA fines against negligent employers for fatality cases continue to remain low.

Gary Labarbera, NYTC Building & Construction Trades Council president, stated in a recent interview with CBS2 that “The past several years have been [a] very busy, very robust construction market, but there shouldn’t be anywhere near this many fatalities.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are approximately 150,000 on-site construction accidents each year. Falls are the most common cause of fatal construction injuries.

Masonry restoration specialist Christine Azzoli stated to CBS2 that “deadlines and pressures” from contractors can sometimes cause construction workers to take risks. “It’s always been a dangerous profession,” said Azzoli, “but If you’re given the time and proper equipment, you have a better chance of working safely.”

There are many different ways a fatal construction accident can occur, including:

  • Falling Hazards
  • Unsafe Work Sites
  • Electrocution
  • Scaffolding Issues
  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Crane Collapse Accidents
  • Heat Stroke and Overexertion

Contact a New York Construction Attorney

Were you hurt in a construction accident? The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, are committed to representing workers who’ve been hurt in New York, and we’re ready to stand up and fight for you. Our experienced legal team has a history of results, including a $13 million verdict for an injured union painter who fell from a ladder and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and a $12.8 million verdict for a worker who suffered from a neck injury due to a construction company’s negligence.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation an experienced New York construction accident lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. We’re here to support you, so call us at Hach & Rose, LLP or reach out to us online right away.


Construction Safety: Six Initiatives that Companies Should Not Ignore

When it comes to safety on the job site, construction company owners, managers, and employees must focus on safety to protect themselves, other employees, and potentially passersby from harm. When companies fail to focus on safety, severe injury accidents or fatal incidents can and do occur. While equipment and protective gear can help, actual safety starts with the company’s culture 

Six vital initiatives that construction company managers should not ignore are:

  • Make Safety a Primary Priority — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that possible hazards for workers in the construction industry include falls from heights, trench collapses, scaffold collapses, electric shock, failure to use personal protective equipment, and repetitive motion injuries. Employers need to make sure scaffolding is erected properly, fall protection is in place, protective systems are in place for trenches, and all workers are equipped with necessary personal protective equipment.
  • Invest in Training — When you want your workers to operate in the safest possible manner, it will be in your best interest to provide the training necessary for them to learn exactly how things should be done. You should treat training as an ongoing aspect of employment that applies to all employees for the safety of everyone, and the training can help reinforce certain safety aspects that are important to an employer.
  • Involve Your Employees — Instead of making safety concerns a top-down mandate, try to get some of your employees involved in your efforts. Employees who have active roles in safety programs will be more likely to get their co-workers to appreciate their efforts. Involving employees on safety plans can also help avoid any possible conflicting instructions or other issues that can make some plans difficult to carry out. You also want to seek input from your employees as to what other areas of safety should be addressed.
  • Enforce Accountability — When you enact specific safety measures, you will want to make sure they are followed, and you should not hesitate to discipline employees who commit unsafe practices. By demonstrating that there can be consequences to unsafe actions, the employees will know that following safety rules are important to you. You will also want to allow employees to report unsafe practices to you and feel as though you are committed to their protection.
  • Reward Employees — You should reward employees who adhere to safety standards and also show a willingness to attend safety meetings, wear personal protective equipment, and offer suggestions to improve safety. You should avoid incentive programs that reward workers for going a certain number of days without accidents or injuries because such programs risk possible underreporting of injuries.
  • Begin Daily Inspections and Safety Meetings — Inspect your job site before and after every workday to identify possible safety concerns and then discuss all issues at daily safety meetings. When you begin to make this a routine, you will be able to correct many issues very quickly.

If proper safety training is not conducted, or if rules and protocols are not followed, catastrophic or fatal injuries can occur. Construction companies that fail to consider safety initiatives like those listed above do so at their own risk, and they could be held liable if the worst happens and someone is injured or killed.

Contact a New York Construction Injury Lawyer

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a construction accident in the greater New York City area, you will want to make sure that you quickly get yourself an experienced personal injury attorney. You will want to be sure that you speak to Hach & Rose, LLP for the qualified legal assistance that you deserve.  

Our firm has a record of success that includes more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We have extensive experience helping injured workers in New York, and our team will be ready to stand up and fight for you. Call (212) 779-0057 or (866) LAWS-USA, or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation right away. 


Top Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents in New York

Aerial lifts are used frequently by workers in New York, whether on construction sites, by municipal workers, maintenance crews, and others. These machines come in many different types and sizes. While they are quite useful for projects requiring workers to operate at elevated heights, these large, heavy machines can also cause severe or fatal injuries in the event of an accident.

Some of the most common types of aerial lifts in New York include:

  • Cherry pickers
  • Scissor lifts
  • Articulating boom lifts
  • Telescopic boom lifts
  • Telehandlers

Accidents can be caused by the recklessness of third parties (like distracted drivers who crash into lifts on busy streets), or could be caused by operator error. To prevent operator error accidents, employers and supervisors should train operators to:

  • Inspect the conditions around the job site
  • Identify hazards and avoid them
  • Inspect the equipment before use
  • Safely operate the equipment

Even if a worker operates the equipment safely and to the best of their ability, accidents can still happen.

Commonly Reported Aerial Lift Accidents

Some of the most commonly-reported types of aerial lift accidents include:

  • Vehicle accidents – Just last month, a worker who was fixing a traffic light died in an accident caused by a driver who crashed into the cherry picker he was working from. When drivers fail to observe aerial lifts in the roadway or fail to exercise caution when driving around them, workers could be hurt or killed in an accident.
  • Electrocution – Accidental contact with overhead power lines can result in serious or fatal injuries. If the lift is not on stable ground, the employees are not wearing the right protective gear, or if the lift tips over and comes in contact with power lines, the accident could be devastating.
  • Falls from lifts – Falls often occur when the vehicle is on unstable ground, when inclement weather strikes, or if a vehicle or object strikes the lift. Workers can prevent some falls by making sure that all cables and harnesses are secure and access gates are closed.
  • Tip-overs – High winds, unstable ground, exceeding load capacity limits, and other issues can cause the lift to tip over.
  • Caught-betweens – When a lift worker is caught between the lift and another object, the injuries they suffer could be severe or catastrophic. Workers nearby can also be crushed or caught between when a lift tips over, so it is crucial for workers both in and around the lift to exercise caution and be alert at all times.
  • Struck by objects outside the bucket – Workers can be hurt by objects, debris, or equipment that falls out of the bucket onto unsuspecting workers below, or debris that falls onto the worker in the bucket.

Thorough safety training can help workers identify these common hazards and hopefully avoid them. While safety training goes a long way toward preventing injury accidents, it unfortunately cannot prevent them from ever happening. When a worker is injured on the job, they have the right to seek worker’s compensation benefits, or might have a third-party injury claim for compensation.

Contact a New York Aerial Lift Accident Lawyer

The New York aerial lift accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP have extensive experience helping workers in our community get compensation if they were hurt in an accident on the job. We’ve helped workers who’ve been hurt on aerial lifts, scaffolding, and other elevated heights get justice when an unexpected accident occurs. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call us at (212) 779-0057, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form today and schedule your free consultation with us.

 

 


NYC construction accidents increasing, leading to more worker deaths

A recently-passed bill, Local Law 196, requires all New York City construction workers to attend an additional 40 hours of safety training, and supervisors to attend an additional 62 hours to comply with the bill.

This renewed focus on safety training is vital, especially since a new study shows that construction accidents increased by 17%, and eight workers died in the first half of 2018, more than double the amount of fatalities over the same period in 2017.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2016, over 37% of all work-related deaths in NYC were construction workers. When workers are not provided the right equipment and safety training, severe injury, or fatal accidents can and will happen.

Most Common Construction Accidents

There are many different types of construction accidents, many of which can result in severe or fatal injuries. Some of the most commonly-reported job site accidents include:

  • Falls from height
  • Falling objects
  • Equipment-related accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Burns
  • Chemical spills/exposure
  • Backovers and crushed-betweens
  • Structural collapses and trench collapse
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Heatstroke
  • Overexertion
  • Loud noise/hearing loss
  • Explosions
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Statistics indicate that throughout a 45-year career in construction, a worker has a 1 in 200 chance of being fatally injured on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that an average of 150,000 construction accidents is reported each year.

In far too many cases, construction accidents could have been prevented if supervisors had been more responsible. Employers and managers are responsible for ensuring that all employees have adequate safety training and that all protocols are followed at all times. The regulations put in place by OSHA exist to keep workers safe, but if they are not followed, workers could become severely injured, or worse, may not survive an accident.

Contact a New York Construction Accident Lawyer

For more than a decade, workers across New York have turned to Hach & Rose, LLP for help getting the compensation they deserve when they’re hurt in an accident on the job site. We know how crucial recovering compensation is to you and your family, and we’re committed to helping you get every penny that you’re owed. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with us by calling (212) 779-0057, or reach out to us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced New York construction accident attorneys today.


Bensonhurst, NY – Construction Worker Hurt After Falling Through Roof of School in Brooklyn

Bensonhurst, NY – Construction Worker Hurt After Falling Through Roof of School in Brooklyn

Bensonhurst, NY (July 5, 2019) – On Friday morning, July 5th, police stated that a construction worker suffered injuries on the job after falling through the roof of a school located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The accident happened around 9:00 a.m. at a school on 16th Avenue.

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Freeport, NY – Two Workers Injured Following Fall from Ladder on Long Island

Freeport, NY – Two Workers Injured Following Fall from Ladder on Long Island

Freeport, NY (July 1, 2019) – A serious construction accident occurred on Monday, July 1st, leaving two workers with injuries, according to authorities. The accident happened at a new home that is currently under construction on Bayview Avenue in the Freeport neighborhood on Long Island.

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Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY – Three People Hurt After Scaffolding Falls onto Bar

Bensonhurst, NY – Construction Worker Hurt After Falling Through Roof of School in Brooklyn

Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY (July 1, 2019) – On Sunday afternoon, June 30th, three people were stated to have suffered various injuries after a section of scaffolding fell onto a bar located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The incident occurred at an unspecified time at Mission Dolores on Fourth Avenue.

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Midtown, Manhattan, NY – Three Construction Workers Hurt Including One Seriously by Falling Debris

Bensonhurst, NY – Construction Worker Hurt After Falling Through Roof of School in Brooklyn

Midtown, Manhattan, NY (June 27, 2019) – On Thursday morning, June 27th, three workers were reported to have suffered injuries, one seriously, after debris fell inside of a theatre located in Midtown Manhattan. The incident took place at the Golden Theatre, at 252 West 45th Street, located in the Theatre District near 8th Avenue, around 11:30 a.m.

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Midtown, Manhattan, NY – Two Pedestrians Injured by Falling Bricks near Worksite

Dunkirk, NY – Woman Taken to Hospital After Hit by Neighbor’s Firework

Midtown, Manhattan, NY (June 11, 2019) – According to authorities, a section of scaffolding came loose on Tuesday morning, June 11th, and caused bricks to fall from a construction site, subsequently injuring two pedestrians. The incident was reported to have taken place around 9:00 a.m. at 42 West 39th Street.

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