This year, a string of fatal New York City construction accidents clustered close together in April led the city’s Department of Buildings to perform a “two-week-long sweep of construction sites across the five boroughs.” What they found might have been shocking for the public but was regrettably less so for those who work in construction in the city, as well the lawyers who represent those workers.
The report by WNYC revealed that the crackdown led to 322 immediate stop-work orders, with an additional 1,081 violation on top of those 322. This, unfortunately, is a reminder that not only is construction work in New York City dangerous, but that too many jobs are more unsafe than they should be. If you find yourself hurt as a result of a construction accident, you should take action promptly by retaining the services of a skilled New York City construction attorney to protect your rights.
The event leading to the crackdown was a terrible week in which three construction workers died, two from falling objects and one as a result of a fall. On April 8, a construction worker from Queens died after a piece of building façade broke loose and hit him in the head. On April 10, a worker in Brooklyn died after falling from the roof of a 13-story building. Early on April 13, a counterweight from a crane fell on a worker in Manhattan and killed him.
The Acting Building Commissioner stated that, during “the spot inspections, they found a lack of fall protection at some workplaces and at others, they realized that site superintendents were failing to make sure safety precautions were up to snuff,” according to the report.
Falls are one of the more common, and most deadly, types of construction accidents. Falls are also frequently very preventable. If those responsible for worker safety on construction sites provided the sort of fall protection that the law demands, fewer falls, and fewer fall-related deaths would occur.
New York law may protect you if you were hurt in a construction fall
When you are hurt as a result of a fall or because a falling object struck you, then there is a specific law in New York that is dedicated to helping you recover from your accident by giving you the compensation you deserve. That law, which is located at Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law, is sometimes called the “Scaffold Law,” but covers more worker injuries than just men and women working on scaffolds. The law says that the owner of the construction site where you’re working, as well as the general contractor on the project, owe you and every other worker on the project a legal obligation to ensure that you are properly protected against risks that are “gravity-related.” In other words, if you fell or if something fell onto you, then you may be covered under this law (whether you were on a scaffold at the time or not.)
If you can prove that you were injured in this way while performing a covered activity at the construction site, then you can recover 100% of the financial harm you suffered as a result of the accident. To do that, though, you need to present many things to the court. To give yourself the best chance possible to get the full recovery you deserve, reach out to the knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of handling construction injury cases and helping injured workers pursue the compensation they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.