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Fatal construction falls: Unsafe conditions? Exploited workers?

Anyone who has spent time working construction in New York will tell you that accidents happen, even when workers do their best to stay safe. Falls can occur on both union and nonunion job sites, but nonunion workers usually have less protection and training than their union counterparts. Unfortunately, when developers try to reduce expenses by hiring nonunion labor, they may also try to reduce expenses by cutting corners on safety.

Falls from heights have caused catastrophic injuries to many construction workers. A recent fatal accident in Times Square shows the potential for an increased risk of falling on nonunion sites on which proper safety precautions may not be in place.

A deadly fall in Times Square

In April, the New York Daily News reported the death of a 59-year-old construction worker, who fell from an I-beam at 1604 Broadway, near 49th Street, and died later at a hospital. According to some authorities, the fatal accident was avoidable. New York City buildings commissioner Rick Chandler was quoted as saying, “We think it was completely preventable,” citing a probable lapse in safety protections.

The 1604 Broadway job site was shut down by the Department of Buildings after the accident. According to Daily News sources, the general contractor for the site had been recently fined for numerous safety violations by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Getting legal advice when you need it

Some workers and their families require legal advice after an accident has occurred. Others need help figuring out what to do in the midst of dangerous work conditions. Construction workers deserve safe work conditions.

Speaking with a lawyer can help you protect your legal rights, including your right to any money damages you are entitled to. In general, there is no cost for (or risk in) seeking legal advice from a construction accident attorney.

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