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Construction Accidents

Crane accidents: Another life claimed in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Friday, February 12th, 2016

A massive crane collapse in Lower Manhattan on Feb. 5 killed a Wall Street worker and injured three other people, according to local news sources. New York residents understand the danger posed by crane accidents and other construction-related mishaps, both for those working on the job site and those in proximity to it. Unfortunately, the events of Feb. 5 have brought that danger into stark relief.

According to the accident report, workers were attempting to lower the crane’s boom, which had been extended to over 500 feet, in the face of gusting winds. Pedestrians and road traffic were being redirected to other streets at the time of the crash, which likely saved many more lives. At this time, it is not clear what caused the crane to collapse the way it did.

Bystanders described the damage done by the falling crane as “devastating.” Cars were crushed, and one man was killed in the crash. Three other people were hurt, two seriously, and were taken to local hospitals. All other mobile cranes registered to the city were ordered into secure positions, and an investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the tragic accident.

Crane accidents, like any construction accident, can often be traced to human or mechanical error. In this case, New York authorities will continue to investigate, alongside organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to determine how and why this crane came down. If it turns out the accident was avoidable or as a result of correctable errors, the family of the deceased man may be in a position to file lawsuits against the company responsible for the job site, the manufacturer and owner of the crane, and any other party deemed culpable for the accident.

Source: CBS News, “Massive crane collapses in NYC; 1 dead“, Feb. 5, 2016


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Child safety a concern after NYC construction accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Friday, July 25th, 2014

Asphalt Green is a massive multi-use sports complex and recreation center in New York City. The athletic complex has been near a construction project for awhile, but the project hasn’t been going off as perfectly as many intended. Recently, a jackhammer chisel crashed through a window and injured one worker. This incident raised concerns about the safety of the project, as well as the potential dangers that kids were being exposed to as they played at Asphalt Green.

In a city as big as New York, there are bound to be myriad construction projects going on at any given time. These construction sites present many dangers not just to the workers on the site, but the people who are around or near the site. 

Construction projects always present dangerous conditions. There may be uneven terrain in or around the site. There may be powerful machinery being used to lift, move and place heavy materials. There may be precarious situations that construction workers have to deal with because the project requires them to work at tremendous heights. Or, the project may involve any combination of these factors — and then some.

Because of these dangerous conditions, construction companies have a duty to uphold strict safety regulations to protect their workers and the innocent people who may be near their construction site. When these companies fail to uphold their safety rules — or when workers negligently disregard some basic rules — there can be huge amounts of liability at stake. Workers or innocent bystanders could sue under a personal injury claim.

Source: Capital New York, “Construction accident at Asphalt Green renews safety concerns,” David Giambusso, July 9, 2014


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Cut construction accident rates with leadership in safety

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Monday, March 17th, 2014

Of course, a large part of ensuring that New York construction crews are safe at all times involves providing them with the proper equipment, resources and training they need to do their job right. Interestingly, though, another factor that may play a role in determining how construction workers regard safety concerns and perform their duties is how supervisors conduct themselves. The findings of a new study suggest that construction accident rates can actually be affected by the relationship between supervisors and workers, and how they prioritize safety on a work site.

While construction companies often encourage safety by offering employees incentives and rewards for every day they go without an incident, some studies have shown that such practices may only encourage workers to underreport accidents. Instead, managers can implement leadership techniques to effectively promote safety and cut down on construction accident incidents. Transformational leadership identifies a specific goal for workers to meet together, and transactional leadership unifies the interests of the organization with those of employees.

In a recent study involving close to 1200 subjects, it was determined that transformational leadership techniques were particularly effective in encouraging workers to prioritize safety on the job. While transactional leadership also wielded positive results, workers that respected and admired their managers’ safety-related decisions were more prone to emulate them.

Given that safety should always be top priority for construction foremen and their crews, it makes sense that encouraging responsible behavior and actions would have a positive effect on workers and the workplace environment.

Source: ehstoday.com, “Leading Safety by Example: Walking the Walk Saves Lives,” Sandy Smith, March 5, 2014


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Murder charges follow construction accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Buildings go up and come down every day in New York City, New York. And while tearing down a structure may seem easier and quicker than constructing one, the demolition process presents its own unique challenges. A major construction accident resulted in several deaths and numerous injuries earlier this year, and ultimately led to serious criminal accusations against the contractor involved in the demolition project.

The fatal construction accident took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June of this year. According to the city’s district attorney, employees and customers at a Salvation Army thrift store were trapped by a four-story brick wall that collapsed and fell on top of the store. The wall was being demolished by the defendant in the case, the contractor on the construction project.

The district attorney claims that the defendant attempted to salvage materials from the wall to sell, and so dismantled the wall from the inside. The defendant is accused of removing key structural support pieces from the wall, which caused it to collapse. The contractor is also accused of ignoring safety advice and concerns from an architect, and lying to the architect about the condition of the wall prior to the incident.

Tragically, 13 people sustained injuries in the incident and six others died. Now, the defendant has been charged with 13 counts of reckless endangerment, in addition to six counts of involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder. The excavator involved in the demolition project faces numerous criminal charges as well.

In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation and case, several of the victims have filed lawsuits against the defendant. Furthermore the defendant has been cited with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The incident also resulted in reforms to city guidelines regarding demolition projects.

Source: NBC News, “Contractor faces murder charges in Philly building collapse,” Karen Araiza, Nov. 25, 2013


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Scaffolding accident injures several

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Just like its people, New York architecture is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. After all, the weather is known to shift dramatically and without much notice. And while most buildings can hold up against heavy winds, rain and snow, it’s incredibly important that construction and maintenance crews account for how worksites may withstand such conditions. A recent construction accident in Midtown New York illustrates how hazardous a construction zone can become when weather strikes.

The incident occurred recently when a metal and plywood construction shed was knocked over by extreme winds and rain. The scaffolding was covering up a restaurant renovation project when it was allegedly toppled by a gust of wind. Some pedestrians in the vicinity of the construction site were reportedly struck by falling debris. According to witness accounts, more than one pedestrian was actually trapped by the falling structure.

The scaffolding accident resulted in four people sustaining injuries. A firefighter with responding emergency crews was allegedly hurt, and three other people required medical treatment as well. All of the accident victims were transported to an area hospital.

A warning regarding extreme weather conditions was allegedly issued by the Department of Buildings the day the incident occurred. There is also evidence that the construction shed was not properly installed, according to building inspectors that investigated the scene. As a result, all construction was halted on the project.

Given that citations and a stop work order were distributed by the Department of buildings, it is not yet known whether responsibility for the injury accident falls on the construction company or owner. However, it does serve to re-enforce the need for strong safety laws that hold owners and general contrctors repsponible for work site safety violations.  Recent efforts by insurance companies and unsafe contractors seek to undermine the New York Labor Law which holds owners and general contractors responsible for unsafe conditions and helps keep us all safe.

Source: CBS New York, “Construction Shed Collapse Sends Debris Flying In Midtown,” Nov. 1, 2013


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Construction accident takes one life, injures another

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Construction work of all types goes on all the time in places like New York. Construction projects are so common, in fact, that many people don’t even notice work is being done. However, construction workers always have to stay alert and focused on the job to ensure they comply with life-saving safety standards at all times. In the event that equipment malfunctions or human error prevails, construction workers are at risk of being involved in a major construction accident. One tragic accident may serve as a sobering example of how improper equipment placement and use can result in tragedy.

The deadly mall construction accident occurred in Bethesda, Maryland, in late spring of this year when a jacking tower apparently malfunctioned, causing the death of one construction worker. Upon investigation of the incident, it was determined that construction workers were attempting to move a beam using a jack system when the tower failed. The beam is reported to have fallen, causing serious injuries to one worker and killing the other. The fatal equipment malfunction is attributed to the fact that workers did not properly brace the extended sections of the jack tower and the scaffolding equipment was extended too far.

The results of the accident investigation suggest that human error contributed to the incident. Though, it’s not stated who, if anyone will be held responsible for making the apparently avoidable mistakes. It’s also not known what legal actions may be taken on behalf of the accident victims, or what impact the results of the investigation might have on potential personal injury suits.

Source: wjla.com, “Westfield Montgomery Mall construction accident due to malfunctioning jack,” Sep. 24, 2013


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Construction in small New York city halted after injury

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Friday, September 13th, 2013

Construction is a field that requires skill, patience and etensive experience. When construction workers in New York are on the job, owners and general contractors who control the worksite are required to follow certain safety rules in order to keep the workers safe, as well as any citizens or other professionals that happen to be on or near the site. If these safety rules are not followed or machines are not maintained as recommended, a construction accident may occur, and the resulting injuries may cause serious medical injury or emotional trauma.

Construction work in a small village in New York was halted after an inspector was injured during a routine inspection of the site. Although the inspector was wearing the proper safety gear, his injuries were substantial enough that he was taken to a Medical Center for treatment.

Construction managers were awaiting the okay from the New York Department of Transportation to resume construction in the area. The inspector was hit in the head by a heavy piece of machinery during his visit. Officials did not specify why the accident occurred as the investigation is still pending. And, the drainage work may not resume until the problem is resolved.

Many construction accidents do not end well for the individuals involved. Although it appears that the inspector will eventually recover, he will still have mounting medical bills and may need to take time off work while he recovers. This may result in lost wages and expenses he can’t cover, and it may be necessary to prove that the construction company was liable for the accident.

Source: Daily Voice, “Inspector injured in Mamaroneck Village construction accident,” August 23, 2013


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Man dies from construction accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The construction industry is known to be one of the most dangerous industries in our society. Scaffolding falls, electrical accidents, construction truck accidents and more put workers at risk every day. It is vital that construction companies, supervisors and employers adhere to safety regulations and provide a safe working environment and follow all processes appropriately.

Despite the best laws and processes, accidents do happen and they can result in varying levels of injury severity and even death. A recent incident on Govenors Island has left a Staten Island resident dead. A pipe approximately 15 feet long that was to be used for a storm sewer project fell while being unloaded. Portions of a sea wall are under reconstruction and required the pipe.

A forklift was being used to unload the pipe from a truck when it fell, leading to the construction worker’s death. The article reporting the accident did not state whether the man died on the scene or later.

Accidents such as this highlight the importance of continued scrutiny for workplace safety, especially on construction sites. Labor and safety laws are in place to prevent problems but there are also laws in place to protect injuried parties or their families in the event that an accident does occur. If you have suffered as a result of a construction accident, talking to an attorney may be helpful so that you can learn what options may be available to you for compensation. This may include payment of medical expenses, lost wages or other claims.

Source: The New York Times, “Staten Island man, 55, is killed by a falling 15-foot pipe,” July 5, 2013


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Fallen beam sends construction worker to hospital

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Construction is known to be one of the more dangerous industries in which to work. Electrical accidents, scaffolding falls and more can be the cause of many a construction accident. Injuries can range from minor to severe and even include death. Ensuring safety on a construction job site is of high priority for lawmakers, employers and construction workers alike.

Temple University in Philadelphia was the site of a recent construction accident, leaving one construction site worker injured and hospitalized when a beam fell from above. The accident is under investigation by officials from the state and federal governments as well as from the university. The injured worker was taken to Temple University Hospital and reported to be in stable condition.

Crews are working on what will become a seven-story Science Education and Research Center. The building is currently in a skeleton state and stands a total of six stories. A beam on from the fifth floor fell and is presumed to have been allowed to fall as a result of connector that failed.

The harm sustained by employees while on the job can is not only physical injury but missed work, lost wages and unexpected medical costs not covered by insurance. Rehabilitation may be required, only adding to time and financial costs on the part of the injured worker. If you have been hurt in an accident on the job, it is helpful to learn your rights by talking with an experienced attorney so that you are cared for in the most appropriated way.

Source: Philly.com, “One hurt in floor collapse at Temple construction site,” Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, July 13, 2013


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Scaffold Law remains in place to protect NY construction workers

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Construction Accidents on Friday, June 28th, 2013

It is well known that construction is one of the most dangerous industries, with a high risk for injury. Laws work to ensure that employers provide proper and safe working conditions and also provide appropriate compensation to employees when injured on the job. Be it a crane accident, scaffolding accident, road construction accident or more, the need for New York construction workers to be protected is important.

A law known as the Scaffold Law ensures that employers are held liable for injuries sustained on a worksite. In place since 1885, this law has recently been the subject of review with proposed state legislation that would essentially reduce the overall liability of contractors and developers. It would allow juries to identify a portion of employee liability for a construction accident

Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly Speaker, halted efforts to amend the Scaffold Law. Construction workers throughout New York understand the impacts a scaffolding accident can have, including long-term injury, loss of ability to work or even death. The ability to be compensation and protected in the event of such an accident is important to their overall safety.

Any employee of a construction site that has questions about the laws or requirements of their employer to provide a safe workplace could consult with an attorney experienced in the area of constuction accidents. Knowing your rights before a problem occurs can go a long way toward prevention or at least helping to know what can be done in the event of a problem.

Source: Times Ledger, “Sheldon Silver rejects new Scaffold Law: Moya,” Chris Engelhardt, June 21, 2013


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