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Safety violations identified at NYC construction site where worker was impaled

A building in Manhattan's Flatiron district, which is in the process of being converted into condos, was recently the scene of a horrific accident in which a construction worker was critically injured. According to the Department of Buildings, the construction accident occurred when the worker "fell from a ladder as he was installing sheetrock overhead on a ceiling frame."

For unknown reasons, the man fell off of the ladder and plummeted four stories down an open elevator shaft. The man's fall was stopped when his body came into contact with jagged pieces of rebar on the elevator's shaft's ground floor. According to a 31-year-old elevator technician who found the injured worker, the man's "abdomen, back, thigh, buttock and groin," were impaled by the rebar.

While an investigation into the accident is still pending, DOB officials revealed that the worker was not wearing any fall-protection safety gear when the accident occurred. Additionally, the elevator shaft was not covered nor had, as is legally required, safety caps been placed over the tops of the pieces of rebar onto which the man fell. Had the worker's employer taken any of these safety precautions, it's likely that this horrific accident could have been prevented or, at the very least, the man's injuries would have been far less severe.

In addition to the identified safety violations related to this most-recent accident, records indicate that the man's construction employer was previously cited and fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations related to failures to provide fall-protection equipment and properly secure elevator shaft doors.

This accident is yet another example of a construction company that failed to protect workers from obvious work-related hazards. Unfortunately, accidents involving these types of safety violations and devastating injuries are not uncommon. Construction workers and family members who have been affected by a construction accident should consult with an experienced attorney.

Source: The New York Daily News, "Construction worker impaled on steel bars after a five-story fall in Flatiron building," Ryan Sit, Greg B. Smith, Graham Rayman, Jan. 27, 2016

The Real Deal, "Construction worker critical after Flatiron fall," Jan. 27, 2016

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    $2.1 million settlement

    for 33-year old electrician who fell from ladder while attempting to fit heavy cable into crown box when cable sprung back and struck him, causing him to suffer left shoulder injury with impingement.

  • icon2

    $1.6 million settlement

    for 38-year old electrician who slipped and fell on debris on stairway with resulting cervical herniated disc and aggravation of pre-existing arthritic changes.

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    $2.55 million settlement

    for 42-year old electrician who fell into an uncovered, unprotected hole and suffered a severe low back injury with herniated disc(s) that required surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.

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    $1.75 million settlement

    for 26-year old construction worker who fell through opening in roof and fractured his wrist, requiring surgery with open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation device, and eventual fusion.

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    $2.5 million settlement

    for 38-year old female electrician (with history of prior neck injury) who tripped on uneven Masonite protective floor covering, and suffered neck injury with herniated discs requiring cervical fusion.

  • icon6

    $1.2 million settlement

    during trial for 40-year old sheet metal worker who was struck in the neck and shoulder by an air conditioning unit and suffered herniated cervical discs and cervical radiculopathy.

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