Types and Causes of Construction Accidents in NYC
Did you know that construction has become the deadliest job in New York City? While the number of construction accidents has declined since new regulations were introduced in 2019, construction is still extremely dangerous.
What should you do if you or a loved one were injured or killed in a construction accident? What are common construction accident causes, types, and injuries? From the experienced personal injury lawyers at Goidel & Seigel, LLC, here’s important information you should know about construction accidents.
Common Construction Accident Causes
While lots of things can cause construction accidents, a few reasons are more common than others. These are the most common causes of construction accidents.
Contractors and subcontractors are often pressured to finish jobs quickly and meet or beat deadlines. When construction workers feel rushed, they are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to injuries or deaths.
With the booming construction industry, contractors feel pressured to underbid their competitors. When working with a lower budget, they may cut corners by using fewer workers, employing less-experienced individuals, and neglecting safety protocols, all of which may lead to a higher likelihood of construction accidents.
Lack of Training
Construction workers in New York City are required to receive 40 hours of safety training and keep their training cards with them at all times. However, some contractors may provide counterfeit training cards to their employees rather than investing time and money into properly training them. Without the proper training, construction workers are more likely to make potentially fatal mistakes.
Common Construction Site Injuries
Any type of injury can occur on a construction site. However, some types of injuries are more common than others. These are some of the most common types of construction site injuries.
Construction sites contain many items that may pose fire or explosion risks. If workers don’t handle these items properly, the results can cause severe, debilitating, or life-threatening burns.
Falling objects and falls can both cause head injuries. Even non-fatal head injuries can lead to permanent brain damage. Construction workers should always wear helmets on-site to help prevent head injuries.
Fractured, Broken, or Crushed Bones
If not operated properly, heavy machinery like bulldozers and cranes can hit or crush workers, leading to broken or crushed bones, among other types of injuries.
Common Types of Construction Accidents
A wide variety of accidents can happen on a construction site. Here are some of the most common kinds of construction accidents.
Construction workers may be exposed to a wide variety of toxic substances every day on the job. A few common toxic substances found at construction sites include:
- Mineral fibers
- Toxic fumes
42% of construction worker deaths result from falls, and ⅔ of those falls were from less than 30 feet above the ground. Beyond falls, other height-related accidents involve things like dropped tools and collapsing scaffolding.
Trips or Slips and Falls
Slipping or tripping and falling are some of the most common ways workers injure themselves at construction sites, causing sprained ankles, lacerations, broken legs, soft tissue injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, or death. Factors that may contribute to slips or trips include:
- Oil or grease on floors
- Broken or unsafe stairs
- Defects, debris, or holes in flooring
Forklift and Crane Accidents
Forklifts and cranes can carry loads weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds and require special training to operate. Lack of training, equipment failures, and mechanical defects can cause serious or deadly accidents on construction sites.
Demolition often involves explosives, which can lead to devastating injuries and even death if not handled properly. Construction workers involved in demolition should receive proper training and safety equipment to reduce the risk of severe injuries and death.
Explosions and Fires
Numerous conditions on construction sites can cause explosions or fires, such as electrical issues, equipment malfunctions, gas or chemical leaks, and improper handling of flammable materials. In addition to burns, fires and explosions may cause lung problems, disfigurement, or death.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
If you’ve been involved in a construction accident, there are some steps you should take to ensure you can receive compensation for your injuries, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. Here’s what you should do after a construction accident.
Report Your Injury
Always report the incident to your employer right away, so you have the injuries documented in your file. The longer you wait before filling out an incident report, the harder it is to prove that your injuries were caused while you were on the job rather than after hours.
Document the Scene of the Accident
You or a coworker (if you’re too severely injured to do it yourself) should take photos and videos of the accident scene immediately after it happens. Get close-up pictures of whatever caused your accident as well as the whole scene, including who was there and how the negligent party responded.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible. Again, this is to document your injuries for when you seek compensation later. Without evidence that you went to a doctor, it’s difficult to prove you were injured.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your loved one suffered significant injuries that caused permanent limitations or have prevented you from working, or if your loved one was killed or disabled in a construction accident in New York City, you need to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Your employer or their insurance company will try to give you the smallest amount possible for your life-altering injuries. You need a lawyer to fight for the full amount you deserve for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Contact Goidel & Siegel, LLP today for a free consultation.
Injured in a Construction Accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a construction accident in New York City, contact Goidel & Siegel, LLP, a respected personal injury law firm. We specialize in construction accidents and know how to get you the best compensation. Contact us today by clicking here or calling (929) 593-2024.
3 Most Common Construction Site Injuries
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, but injuries/accidents can be avoided. Workers should stress safety in the workplace to avoid construction related injuries and accidents.
Here are 3 of the most common construction site injuries that can be avoided:
Burns are one of the most common construction site injuries. Fires and explosions are likely to occur on construction sites due to items that pose potential risks for fires. It is important for construction workers to handle these items properly because they could endanger nearby workers and citizens.
2. Head Injuries
Head injuries are also commonly suffered on construction sites due to falling objects. These injuries can include concussions and brain injuries. It is important that all construction workers wear the appropriate protective gear such as helmets, to avoid these types of injuries.
3. Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
Broken, fractured, or crushed bones are some of the most common construction site injuries due to heavy machinery. Machinery such as bulldozers and cranes could hit or crush a nearby worker if not operated correctly.
In New York workers are entitled to be provided with appropriate equipment and protection. If you were involved in a construction site injury, Goidel & Siegel, LLP, may be able to help you receive compensation for your pain.
New Regulations for Crane Operations
A group established by Mayor de Blasio has published a report that include 23 recommendations in order to better protect construction workers and the general public near the specific construction site. “The Crane Technical Working Group released an interim report on June 10 that includes 23 recommendations in regard to crane safety.
The group was established by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Buildings Commission Rick Chandler following a crane collapse on Feb. 5. The accident involved a Liebherr LR1300 crawler crane at 60 Worth Street, Manhattan. One person died and another was seriously injured. The crane was set up to install a new generator and cooling tower on a building. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.”
The last time the cranes regulations were revised was in 2008, but since then there have been over 10 major construction accidents involving the use of cranes. Then in 2015, there was a new effort to re-examine and update those regulations. The new recommendations include, “that cranes be equipped with anemometers, data-logging devices (“black boxes”), and GPS tracking so that cranes can be more closely monitored. That additional industry oversight be implemented — both periodically and prior to use each day, similar to how airplanes are readied for flight. That the Department of Buildings return to its previous practice of issuing advisories, rather than cease-operations orders, except in extreme weather events, since forecasts are not site specific, and crane operators should not wait for DOB guidance before taking action; cranes rated for lower wind speeds have already been prohibited from city streets; and the recommendations in this report greatly enhance DOB’s ability to monitor compliance with regulations. In addition, private meteorological services to provide pinpoint forecasting are recommended, as well as placing an age limit on cranes and using self-erecting tower cranes. Greater industry accountability is another part of the group’s recommendations. This includes third party crane certifiers for comprehensive inspection, risk-based plan examination, and the adjustment of staffing models to address cyclical work and the need for specialized expertise. In addition, the group recommends crane assembly/disassembly supervision, post-assembly inspection, the appointment of a lift director, pre-shift meetings and inspections, the monitoring of weather conditions during work, department-issued advisories in advance of inclement weather, post-shift checks, clear indications of wind speed thresholds and the securing sequence, restrictions on cranes with lower wind thresholds, and focused city coordination. Training and licensing enhancements are also recommended, including orientation for cranes with a long boom/jib configuration and the creation of a specific licensing endorsement for such cranes.”
The crane collapse that happened earlier this year that killed one person is still under investigation and more regulations may come to light as the investigation continues. Ultimately the goal of the Crane Technical Working Group is to minimize the odds of an accident occurring and to increase the safety of the construction workers and general public.