A construction worker was seriously injured after falling into a hole on Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, according to a Daily News report. The worker was apparently rescued by firefighters after plummeting 15 feet below street level and taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.
As is the case with similar accidents, complaints were made to the Department of Buildings concerning worker safety at the Brooklyn site. While many other New York City construction workers and their families have experienced life-threatening injuries on unsafe job sites recently, there are indications that things are getting worse with regard to injuries.
Will the new safety-training law improve worker safety?
A newly-enacted New York City law, known as Local Law 196 of 2017, calls for mandatory safety training for many workers. The requirements include a 10-hour OSHA course, further fall-prevention training, and various combinations of coursework that must be completed by the May 2019.
A 62-hour course for supervisors is prescribed as part of one curriculum. The city has prescribed specific expiration and renewal rules for various “SST Cards” issued to workers and supervisors.
Will these efforts the reduce the serious and fatal accidents that have plagued the construction industry? It’s not clear.
What affected workers and their families can do
What is clear is the need for injured workers and their families to protect their legal rights, including the right to seek money damages in cases involving negligence. Obtaining timely legal advice is an important step toward securing fair compensation.