A construction worker died after falling from scaffolding while doing facade work on the Dream Hotel in Midtown. The worker plummeted seven stories and landed between the first and second floors of the luxury hotel, reported the New York Post (4.2.14)
According to the tabloid, a witness claimed that the worker “slipped through planks in the scaffolding.” The victim was thought to be in his 40s.
The scaffolding was erected by Everest Scaffolding. The incident is under investigation.
The Dream Hotel is located on West 55th Street, near Broadway.
Falls from scaffolding or other heights are top cause of construction industry deaths
Each year numerous New York scaffold accidents occur and many of these result in the injury or death of a construction worker. Scaffolds are a necessary, but dangerous, part of construction.
Scaffolding accidents may occur if the scaffolding is
- not assembled correctly
- not secured correctly
- being used without proper fall protection like handrails or guards
- not adequately maintained
- not properly tested
One of the top causes of death in the construction industry is falls from an elevation, according to the Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA). In a typical year, more than 100 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured after falling on a construction site. Falls annually account for one of every three construction-related deaths.
Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for employees. New York also has its own special workplace safety laws that protect construction workers from workplace injury and death. If a worker is injured, these laws also permit workers to recover compensation from some or all of the people or companies that caused or contributed to their injury. An employer can be held legally responsible for unsafe working conditions.
Construction-related injuries and the New York Labor Laws
New York State’s special workplace safety laws are also known as the New York State Labor Laws.
New York Labor Law Section 200
This section requires construction employers to provide a safe workplace for construction workers. If injured, construction workers may be legally able to pursue compensation for their accident-related losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and more.
New York Labor Law Section 240
This section relates to height accidents, including scaffold falls, ladder falls and other falls from a height. It also protects workers from falling objects at a work site. This Labor Law section is also known the “Scaffold Law.” Section 240 allows injured employees to sue a construction company, property owner or contractor for fall-related injuries.
New York Labor Law Section 241(6)
This section outlines the requirements for how areas of construction should be controlled to ensure compliance with the New York State Industrial Code. The section is similar to Section 240 but pertains to ground-level construction work and injuries. It also establishes liability for violations of the New York State Industrial Code.