Construction is almost the most dangerous job in America, bested only by mining. And like mining, greed often plays a part in accidents. Companies take cost-saving shortcuts at the expense of safety to try to turn a bigger profit.
Case on point.Last Sunday a 12-ton air handling unit snapped loose from a crane and plummeted 30 stories to the street below in Manhattan. Ten people were injured. Obviously they were using a cable of insufficient strength for the job.
As a recent NYT article points out, this is only the most recent dangerous mishap this year in the New York construction industry. In fact, this year is poised to match 2008 – the year two cranes toppled in New York City claiming 19 lives – as the most deadly construction year in New York history.
This can be explained partly by the fact that there was simply more construction going on in 2008 and this year compared to the years in between. But such an explanation begs the question of whether the accidents could have been avoided.
Let me answer that question: Yes, they could have, and should have, been avoided. And every single one of the worker-victims has a solid construction accident personal injury case, in my opinion.
The NYT article points out the following examples of construction accidents in New York this year. In my opinion, all of these accidents could have been avoided if the construction bosses had insisted that proper safety procedures be followed: (1) A worker falls half a story from a ladder (should have been tied up); (2) Worker falls to his death from scaffolding during an interior renovation in Times Square (proper barriers should have been in place on the scaffold); (3) worker plummets 8 floors through a hole in scaffolding (why in god’s name were they using scaffolding with a hole in it?!); (4) wind blows loose a construction fence meant to protect pedestrians from falling objects, strikes a woman and kills her (why wasn’t the fence more firmly secured?); (5) A large section of flooring collapses during demolition of an apartment building in Brooklyn, causing several workers to be injured (why were workers allowed to stand on interior flooring during demolition work?)
Thankfully, New York has a special law called “the scaffold law” which gives construction workers who fall from heights — or who are struck by falling objects — special rights to sue in court for compensation for their injuries (above and beyond mere workers’ compensation).
Injured construction workers should not settle for workers’ compensation alone. They should contact competent construction accident lawyers — us for example! — to explore a “scaffold law” suit.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Construction Accident Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.