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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Some workplace accidents cause irreversible harm to exposed eyes

A worker may say his injury happened in the blink of an eye. However, if properly fitted safety glasses protected those eyes, they could have blinked all day without being harmed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the eyes of approximately 2,000 workers are damaged in workplace accidents every day, adding up to over 700,000 per year. Many of those occur in New York.

The alarming fact is these type of eye injuries are so easy to prevent -- it takes only a pair of safety glasses. Unfortunately, many employers fail to enforce the use of them and allow employees to choose when to wear eye protection. However, even if workers are forced to wear safety glasses, the safety gear will not prevent eye injuries if they do not fit properly -- considering approximately 70 percent of reported eye injuries were caused by particles no bigger than a pin's head.

Workplace accidents: Eye protection vital PPE for landscapers

Authorities say several of the safety hazards in the landscaping industry can cause severe damage to workers' eyes. Employers in this field can prevent many workplace accidents by providing employees with eye protection and by making sure that they wear it. Along with the risk of getting dangerous chemicals in their eyes, there are the hazards posed by flying objects -- from stones to pieces of wood, twigs or bark.

Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that work-related eye injuries nationwide, including in New York, exceed 20,000 every year -- with many of them leading to several days off work. However, some such injuries can have devastating consequences. A 33-year-old landscaper explained how he almost lost sight in his right eye when he failed to wear eye protection while edging the sidewalk.

Serious injuries caused when wall collapses at construction site

The construction industry in New York and elsewhere continue to report preventable on-the-job accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is part of an investigation into an incident that caused serious injuries to a construction worker. The site where the accident occurred is a residential home under construction in a neighboring state.

According to authorities, the injured victim -- a 35-year-old man -- was airlifted from the scene in serious condition, though he is expected to survive. Reportedly, the worker's injuries were caused when a cement foundation wall collapsed at approximately 10:30 on a recent Monday morning. The worker was trapped under the wall.

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.

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