The New York City Department of Buildings issues over 3,000 construction site safety violations yearly. Many of these violations result in serious injuries or fatalities, which is why the state has raised the potential fines for criminal negligence from $10,000 to $500,000.
Here are the four most common violations we see when we take on construction site injury cases.
#1) Failure to Provide Adequate Fall Protection
Approximately 200 to 250 construction site falls in New York City annually. Falls are the leading cause of death or injury on construction sites, so it’s no surprise that failure to provide fall protection is the top violation.
The New York Department of Labor and OSHA both require the following:
- The use of personal fall arrest (PFAS) systems, including full body harnesses, lanyards, and anchorage points.
- Guardrail systems that can support a force of 200 lbs on the edges of any work surface six feet or more above a lower level. The guardrails must be at least 42 inches high.
- Safety net systems as an alternative to guardrail systems wherever guardrails are not feasible. They must be installed as close as practicable under the work surface and extend far enough from the work surface to break the fall.
- Employees must receive fall protection training.
Each of these safety measures is very expensive, so some employers, sadly, choose to cut corners rather than invest in them.
#2) Failure to provide PPE
Employers in NYC often skimp on hard hats, safety glasses, and gloves, or they fail to enforce the use of PPE.
While many workers find using PPE uncomfortable or burdensome, wearing it can prevent an accident from becoming a tragedy.
#3) Inadequate Safety Training
The law requires every worker on a construction site to receive proper training on any equipment they’ll be using, the hazards they’ll encounter, and the safety protocols they should follow.
Failure to provide this training can lead to deadly mistakes. Improper use of equipment is a leading cause of injuries.
#4) Failure to Secure or Store Hazardous Materials
At any construction site, you’ll generally find chemicals, solvents, and flammable materials that can be dangerous when spilled.
All chemicals should be in proper containers. They should be stored in secure areas inaccessible to anyone not authorized to use them. They should be marked with warning signs. Incompatible materials need to be stored in separate locations.
In addition, storage should follow proper fire codes, and all hazardous materials must be clearly labeled.
Injured on a Construction Site
If you’ve been injured on a construction site that was not following these guidelines, you could be eligible for personal injury compensation, even if you were on the job at the time.
Contact our office for a free case review.
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