With the increase of building and development throughout New York, it is no surprise that construction-related accidents and fatalities have been on the rise. But the alarming fact is that the upsurge in accidents and deaths far surpasses the rate of new construction, raising concerns about neglected safety safeguards across the state in multiple construction and demolition sites. If you have been injured and are disturbed about safety conditions, the construction accident lawyers at the office of Jeffrey K.Kestenbaum can help.
What Safety Regulations are in Place in NYC?
What are the expected safeguards during construction and demolition? There are many provisions in federal law under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and in New York City Building Code, including these important ones:
- Equipment must be used as per manufacturer specifications;
- Operations and buildings must be inspected by qualified inspectors;
- Defective equipment must be repaired or removed from site;
- Signs and fences must be posted as required;
- Harnesses and helmets are required in situations involving height;
- Safety coordinators or safety managers must be on site.
The Risks of Working in Construction are Often Avoidable
Recent data indicates that the fatality rates on construction sites in New York have nearly doubled since 2011, from just over five deaths per year, to ten deaths in 2015. Likewise, accident reports have seen a disturbing escalation of over two hundred-fifty percent. Meanwhile, permits for new construction are up only eleven percent, with even fewer permits—a six percent uptick—for renovations.
What are the most dangerous aspects of construction work? Forty-nine percent of accidents with injuries are related falls, with roofing and siding contractors experiencing a preponderance of the issues. Alarmingly, four out of five inspections involving these contractors result in violations (compared to two out of three violations across the entire construction industry).
What kinds of violations are occurring? The data shows that most OSHA violations are related to safety standards designed to prevent accidents and injuries associated with height. This includes requirements linked to ladders, scaffolds, and fall prevention or arrest equipment such as harnesses and other protections connected to potential falls. It could comprise limited or non-existent guardrails, unguarded floor holes, failing anchor bolts, defective scaffolding and/or bracing, and open elevator shafts.
Additionally, employees frequently lack adequate training and are unfamiliar with fall hazards; they often do not have adequate anchors for safety belts, or are unaware of measures to take in windy conditions. Over sixty percent of OSHA violations were notated as “serious” safety violations.
How A Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help
In addition to being eligible for workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to damages. Your employer is required to report any accident requiring hospitalization to OSHA within twenty-four hours.
If a contractor has violated New York City law, you may potentially be able to recover lost wages and medical bills. Beyond that, it is possible to collect based on pain and suffering impacting your level of enjoyment in life.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit based on your construction site accident, contact the experienced team at the Brooklyn law office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum or call (718) 237-5586 for dedicated and aggressive representation.