When Tina Nguyen, a real-estate agent from Philadelphia was struck and killed last month from a piece of falling plywood at a Greenwich Village construction site, many thought it was a freak accident. The truth is, on average, at least once a month a pedestrian is injured near a New York City construction site by things such as falling bricks, tools, glass, fences and collapsing sidewalk sheds. The majority of these accidents took place in Manhattan.
In 2014, there were 18 construction site accidents involving passersby, injuring 23 people, the highest number of injuries since 2008. New York City Department of Buildings reports that during the 2008 – 2014 period, falling tools and materials caused 41 accidents and 61 injuries. Falling glass resulted in 12 injuries and blowing fences, sheds and gates led to 47 injuries. Among those pedestrians injured were three children, one of which was struck in the head with a falling hammer in 2011. Thankfully the child survived and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to the buildings-department, they have safety standards in place and routinely check construction sites for violations, but the hiring of inexperienced or lazy contractors who don’t comply with safety protocol is what puts workers and pedestrians at risk for construction-site related injury. Since the buildings-department started keeping record, there have been 237 construction workers injured and eight killed on the job.
The buildings-department statistics show that the total number of construction accidents involving both workers and passersby is at its highest point in seven years and can be attributed to the city’s economy improving and the pace of construction hurried.
Individuals, or the families of individuals, who have been injured in a construction accident, should contact a personal injury law firm with years of experience and detailed knowledge of construction law and workers’ compensation law.