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Arye, Lustig & Sassower Blog

Another construction death: Worker killed by a forklift in Queens

New York City construction workers continue to die at an alarming rate. This time, a worker was killed in a forklift accident on a job site in Jamaica, Queens, on March 13.

According to the New York Post's account of the tragedy, the 35-year-old worker, Edgar Pazmino, was employed by Westside Windows when he was killed.

Preventing construction injuries: Planning, execution or both?

In an age of fantastic technology, plentiful information and unprecedented digital communication, construction workers continue to suffer as a result of serious accidents that could have been prevented. Why do worker deaths and injuries continue to be such a serious problem in New York City and elsewhere?

By now, everyone in the construction industry is aware of fundamental safety principles. So is it a matter of planning or execution? Are people getting hurt because of deficiencies in training or accountability? Is the issue sloppiness, negligence or basic human greed? These are critical questions that demand answers.

NYC construction hazards: Falls during the winter months

New York City continues to experience a building boom, with many large construction projects continuing to move forward through the weather-challenged months of January, February and March. This puts workers at increased risk of certain injuries.

Falls are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury among New York workers, especially in the construction industry. Icy, wet and snowy surfaces can exacerbate the already-present danger of work at high elevation.

TWO NYC construction workers fall to their deaths on January 23

January 23, 2018 was a tragic day for New York City workers. Not one, but TWO men were killed that day when they fell to their deaths on different work sites, one in Rego Park, Queens, and the other near Gramercy Park in Manhattan. 

As reported by Crain's New York Business, 26-year-old construction worker John Davie died when he fell from a window while working on a condo on Saunders Street in Queens. Just hours earlier, 33-year-old elevator technician Ju Cong Wu died when he fell down an elevator shaft while working on a new hotel at 111 East 24th Street.

Queens construction negligence: 8-year-old hit in head by plank

Each year, dozens of New York City construction workers are seriously hurt and killed while doing their jobs. Many of these deaths and life-changing injuries are preventable, caused by the negligence of project owners and contractors who sometimes show flagrant disregard for worker safety.

But innocent pedestrians and passers-by are injured on a regular basis, too. And some of them die. You may recall that in February 2016 a man was killed in TriBeCa when a huge construction crane fell to the street and caused massive destruction.

Fatal sanitation accident: NYC worker's family is awarded $41M

Sometimes we fail to appreciate the workers who keep our communities clean and organized. Sanitation workers deserve respect and proper compensation for the challenges and risks they face -- and they may need legal help when they get hurt on the job.

Two recent cases underscore the kinds of danger that sanitation workers have to deal with at times. One fatal New York City accident, in particular, reminds us that tragedy can change lives.

Construction worker dead in Chelsea: Sloppy scaffolding is blamed

This winter has been a deadly one for construction workers in Manhattan. In December, yet another worker died a preventable death because of unsafe conditions.

This time, a piece of scaffolding fell and struck a 34-year-old worker on the head on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea, according to the New York Daily News; the man died later that day. Sadly, the project had already been cited for numerous safety violations, including infractions related to scaffolding, the paper reported.

The epidemic continues: Construction worker dies in Gramercy Park

Recently, another New York City construction worker died at another non-union job site that had received numerous safety complaints. In his comments about the fatal accident on 24th Street near Park Avenue, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council described the pattern of tragic construction-worker deaths as an "out of control epidemic."

According to the Daily News, a 33-year-old worker fell about 100 feet down an elevator shaft while installing an elevator car in a new 12-story hotel. The man was reportedly not attached to safety equipment that could have preserved his life. The Daily News also reported that the job site was the subject of 17 complaints to the city's Department of Buildings over the past year.

More injuries and two worker deaths in yet ANOTHER Amtrak crash

While millions of Americans enjoyed spending time with friends and family on Super Bowl Sunday, two individuals lost their lives in tragic circumstances early that morning. A catastrophic train crash occurred near Columbia, South Carolina, killing two Amtrak employees and injuring more than 100 other people who were on board.

The Amtrak passenger train, which was headed from New York's Penn Station to Miami, Florida, struck a parked CSX freight train and was derailed, according to an NPR report. There were no immediate passenger fatalities, but two Amtrak workers, a conductor and an engineer, were killed.

Who is to blame in NYC construction worker’s death?

While construction accident injuries and deaths can always be attributed to a specific event that occurred on site, finding liability or “blame” may be trickier than it seems. Sometimes it is up to the courts to decide.

*AV Preeminent is the highest rating of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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