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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Roof collapse lead to construction worker's serious injuries

The New York Department of Buildings stopped work at a Queens residential home construction site on a recent Wednesday after a construction accident occurred there on the previous day. Building materials weighing thousands of pounds fell onto three workers when the building's roof collapsed, causing serious injuries to one. The workers were members of a construction crew who were adding another story to an existing two-story residence.

Authorities say a crane loaded construction materials onto the building's roof when they suspect the massive weight caused the partial roof collapse. Three workers were in the area when the rubble came crashing through the roof. One worker, age 37, managed to escape the building without being trapped while a 40-year-old employee was briefly trapped.

Malfunctioning construction elevator causes serious injuries

The New York Department of Buildings recently issued an order to stop work on a part of the construction site on Pier 57. This is the planned construction project that may ultimately house the high-profile Anthony Bourdain food market, which is scheduled for completion in 2019. Authorities say safety measures were not instituted and that led to an employee suffering serious injuries.

The circumstances that led to the workplace accident are unclear, and little information was made available. Reportedly, a construction worker was on an elevator that unexpectedly malfunctioned, causing it to fall and pin the worker against a wall. Firefighters of FDNY rushed to the scene to extricate the employee.

Construction accidents in New York -- 1 more dead

Along with his loved ones, the musicians that shared good times with a drummer by night and a surveyor by day are saddened by his tragic death in a workplace accident. As with all fatal construction accidents, the New York City's Buildings Department issued an immediate stop-work order at the site where a 69-story construction is underway. The order applies to only one of the six high-rise buildings that form part of a Manhattan West project.

Reportedly, a 16th-story platform on which the employee was standing collapsed, causing his 10-floor fall onto the sixth floor. What exacerbates the tragedy of this man's death is the fact that he was working toward creating a cocoon system that would prevent or protect fall victims. Sadly, this is also the system that would likely have saved his life.

Using unmanned aircraft systems may prevent workplace accidents

Members of the workforce in New York may be interested in learning about the extensive use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) -- or drones -- in business applications nationwide. Research by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International supports the use of drones for various purposes in infrastructure industries, construction and emergency management along with oil, gas and mining operations. In many applications, drones are used to prevent workplace accidents.

The New York-based facility of an international construction company started exploring the use of drones some years ago. The tests progressed with technology to a stage in which several applications have been identified to aid the goal of eliminating workplace hazards. The ability of UAS to photograph areas have proved to be of immense help in identifying hazards on job sites. Another advantage is the substantial cost savings that are brought about by using drones rather than specialist aerial photographers.

Construction worker suffers serious injuries in fall from bridge

Safety officials in New York have made their concerns about the lack of workers' safety in the construction industry clear over recent months. Nevertheless, almost every week there are reports of deaths or near-fatal injuries suffered on building sites in the city and elsewhere in the state. Earlier this month, a worker on a construction crew working on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that stretches from Brooklyn to Staten Island suffered serious injuries in a near-fatal fall.

The New York Fire Department rescue crew transported a severely shocked construction worker to a medical center for treatment of serious injuries. An incident report indicates that the unidentified employee was working on the top roadway when he fell toward the lower level. Some electrical conduits saved his life when they stopped his fall about 25 feet down.

OSHA says tree trimmer's fatal workplace accident was preventable

Tree service companies are very active at this time of the year, and owners of these enterprises are responsible for the health and safety of the employees. Tree trimming is an occupation filled with hazards -- not only for those trimming the trees at dangerous heights but also the workers at ground level. A federal safety agency recently found a New York company responsible for a tree trimmer's death in a workplace accident in a neighboring state last October.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a father of two was trimming a tree at a townhouse complex when a large tree limb struck him. Emergency personnel took the man who had suffered critical head and upper body injuries to a hospital after administering first aid. Sadly, his death was pronounced upon arrival at the medical facility.

Injured workers: Violence prevalent against New York nurses

The Violence Against Nurses Law became effective in Jan. 2010 when the New York Senate passed the legislation. A perpetrator who assaults a nurse could face felony charges for which the punishment upon conviction could be up to seven years behind bars. Sadly, such attacks remain prevalent, and concerned authorities say injured workers in hospitals should stop seeing it as part of the job.

As recently as March, a nurse in an emergency room in a Staten Island hospital was punched by a patient before he proceeded to use a plastic wire to choke her. Another patient whose blood pressure was being checked punched a nurse in 2016, and in 2015, a man allegedly choked a nurse who was treating him. Furthermore, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) says many assaults go unreported, as nurses are under the misconception that being spit on, punched and choked are par for the course.

Study shows performance incentives cause workplace accidents

It may come as no surprise to those in the New York workforce that many companies nationwide prioritize profits over worker safety. The combined research of two leading universities concludes that more workplace accidents occur at high-performing companies. The study used data provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration along with the financial information of businesses.

Those that show the highest injury rate are the companies whose financial performance meets or beats the expectations of financial analysts. It was found that these are companies at which management is incentivized to decrease production costs to bring about increased production output. It is easy to see how this form of motivation could jeopardize the safety of workers.

For cell tower workers, work injury is par for the course

A former cell tower worker asked people in New York and other states to think of the men and women who see to it that they have constant cell phone contact with whomever they want, whenever they want. Their occupation has been dubbed the most dangerous job in the country -- one in which every worker could potentially suffer a work injury that could be fatal. The 55-year-old is the author of a book describing the life-threatening conditions to which approximately 15,000 workers are exposed as they work on maintaining 215,000 cell phone towers at heights of up to 2,000 feet every day.

He says these workers have to deal with gale-force winds, rain, snow and subzero temperatures while putting their lives on the line. He gives graphic descriptions of a co-worker's decapitation by a cable and says others have died after falling off towers and from baskets that were attached to cranes. Some lost their lives after being struck by falling debris, being electrocuted or struck by lightning.

Construction accidents: New York tragedy claims worker's life

No foul play is suspected regarding a fatality at a New York building site on a recent Thursday. As with all deaths caused by construction accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating this one to determine the employer's compliance with federal safety regulations. Law enforcement stated that drugs and alcohol seemed not to have played a role in this tragedy.

According to an incident report, a bulldozer struck a 44-year-old worker at approximately 1 p.m. while she was leveling a field at a construction site in Red Hook. Reportedly, the accident occurred when a 45-year-old operator failed to notice the woman at ground level when he moved the bulldozer. He apparently promptly called emergency services after the incident, but the worker's life could not be saved.

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