Safety Violations at New York City Construction Sites

On April 29 of this year, the New York City building inspectors released their report of safety violations committed in 2012 by construction companies and contractors at worksites across the city. The two-month inspection, which covered 920 construction sites, found that eight fatalities had occurred over the year, an increase from just five in 2011. Seven of these deaths occurred at low-rise construction sites where finished buildings were to be nine stories or less. In addition, construction accidents increased by 37 percent in the 12-month period, of which 43 percent were related to falls.

Increasing the safety level for Workers and Resident New Yorkers

The 879 safety violations uncovered resulted in almost $1 million in fines. While violations pertained to a variety of conditions, the most common were due to missing fences, guardrails, handrails, or fire extinguishers, a lack of proper permits, failure to provide protection to adjoining buildings, unprotected openings, and improper lightweight steel construction. Work was ordered to come to a halt at 34 locations due to such unsafe conditions and a further 75 partial stop-work orders were issued where violations were found to pose an impending threat.

Construction work has always been a major source of jobs and revenue in New York City. Unfortunately it has also been a dangerous occupation for all types of construction workers. Have you ever walked by an active construction site and wonder what exactly all of those workers functions are?

Construction jobs can employ two types of laborers, skilled and unskilled. The skilled laborers are usually referred to as tradesmen and are usually union members. Some may be non union, which usually includes unskilled laborers like ditch diggers or detour sign holders. There are skilled laborers who assist other tradesmen and are proficient with pneumatic tools, hand tools, blasting and smaller heavy equipment. Tradesmen are carpenters, carpet layers, electricians, elevator mechanics, fencers or fence builders, heavy equipment operators which includes compressor operators, forklift operators and boring and drilling machine operators .There are also iron workers who erect or dismantle structural steel frames. Structural steel installation is usually crane-assisted. Workers rely on mobile, elevated platforms or scissor lifts. Iron workers bolt the steelwork together using various tools, power tools and manual tools .Metallic Lathers may be included in this category. Also there are masons, plasterers, plumbers, pipe fitters or steamfitters, sheet metal workers, truck drivers and welders. There are a host of other job titles but the one thing they all have in common, union or non union, skilled or unskilled is that they have a potentially dangerous and sometimes fatal profession. Construction workers are not the only people at risk at construction sites. What about the passer by, the pedestrian who is hit by falling debris or steps into a open hole that should have been covered, where there was no warning sign? These statistics were not included in the study despite the fact that unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in Manhattan, Brooklyn ,Queens and the Bronx .There are specific labor laws in N.Y. state that aside from workers compensation and negligence laws are designed to protect construction workers and their families. Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, New York construction accident attorney is well versed in all of them and knows which ones apply to your case.

The rate of construction site accidents have been rapidly increasing in New York City, meaning that it is crucial the law be better enforced. Accidents could also be prevented through improved awareness of safety regulations for construction companies and their workers. Many accidents, especially falls, could be easily avoided through proper restraint systems and by keeping the work area free from debris and slippery surfaces. It is extremely important that if you have been injured on a construction job or by falling debris from a building under construction or repair that you speak with an experienced Brooklyn, Bronx , Manhattan or Queens construction accident lawyer like Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum. He has years of experience protecting the rights and recovering full and fair financial compensation for workers who became accident victims due to someone’s negligent conduct or a hazardous condition that was left uncorrected. An example is a $1,740,000 verdict he obtained for a worker who fell from a truck who suffered serious injuries.

If an accident occurs on a construction site, it is essential to seek legal representation from a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer like Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum in order for the worker or his surviving family to receive the full and fair financial compensation his or her injuries deserve. In a wrongful death case, Mr. Kestenbaun understands that no amount of money can ever replace the loss of a family member. What it can do is two things .One is to bring some level of comfort and support to the surviving family members, allowing them to try to recover as best they can from this tragic occurrence. Two is to identify and expose the negligent conduct or hazardous condition so that it will not happen again and send a message that this type of conduct or condition will not be tolerated. This raises the level of safety for the entire community making Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan a safer place to live and work in. Retaining an experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyer not only ensures that your case will be represented aggressively but, by bringing the situation to light, safety regulations will be better enforced by the accountable construction company to ensure that accidents like these will not happen in the future.

Contact Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum

If you or a family member has been injured in a construction related accident, call Jeffrey K.Kestenbaum at (718) 237-5586 to schedule an appointment and if your injuries prevent you from coming into the office, we will come to you. We are located at 26 Court St. Suite 1806 across the street from the Brooklyn Supreme Court, near the 2,3,4,5,M & R Court St/ Borough Hall subway stop; Call us to protect your rights and you and your families’ future.

Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx personal injury lawyer is paid only when he collects damages for you. His advice is free to anyone who has been injured. He has recovered millions of dollars for accident victims and is dedicated to increasing the level of safety in the community.

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