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, which are often deadly, can occur on both union and nonunion job sites, but nonunion workers often have less safety training and protection than their union counterparts.
Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. All too often, workers are seriously injured or killed, and sometimes innocent bystanders are hurt or lose their lives because of construction accidents -- right here in New York City.
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."
It’s the most dangerous job in America: construction worker. Because New York City is on the cusp of a construction boom, there is increased focus on how best to safeguard the men and women who don hardhats and pour the concrete and erect the steel girders.
A recent construction accident in Brooklyn has raised questions about the safety of the construction site. Workers were in a building under demolition when they fell two stories. Eight workers were taken to the hospital.
It may seem obvious that construction workers should not place themselves between heavy equipment and other objects. In some cases, however, construction workers find themselves in danger through no fault of their own. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data shows that these dangers, called caught-in hazards or caught-between hazards, are one of the four major causes of fatal accidents on a construction site.
When Superstorm Sandy blew into New York City in October 2012, it caused a dramatic scene at a luxury high-rise under construction when a crane boom collapsed in the storm. Wreckage from the collapse dangled in the wind during the storm. Nearly one year later, officials were dealing with another serious crane mishap at the same building, a 90-story residential tower across from Carnegie Hall.
$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.
$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.
$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.
$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.
$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.
$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.