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Falls at construction sites are the leading cause of death within the industry. Every day, on average, two construction workers die in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Construction workers have fallen off edges of all types, from roofs to scaffolding to balconies.
In midtown Manhattan, four construction workers were injured when a railing collapsed in an empty commercial building in Manhattan. The workers were doing interior demolition work near an open stairway on the mezzanine level of the building before they fell, reported CBS News (4.7.15).
The workers, whose names were not reported, were trying to remove a chandelier on the ceiling. While working, they used hooks to secure the lighting fixture. However, the four-foot marble banister on the mezzanine floor used to leverage the workers gave way and collapsed,” said Alexander Schnell with the NYC Dept. of Buildings in the CBS News story. The workers then fell from a height of about two stories. The chandelier collapsed, as did part of a heavy marble banister. Some of the debris came down on top of the four workers.
The cause of the collapse was being investigated. Battalion Chief Tom Mara said that all construction would be halted at the site.
In 2013, there were 294 fall-related deaths (284 falls to lower level) out of 796 total fatalities in construction, reported the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All these falls in construction could likely have been prevented. The best way to prevent construction accidents is to plan and anticipate problems before they happen. Falls can be prevented when workers are properly trained and understand the safe use of equipment. Workers should also be trained in hazard recognition.
In New York, Labor Law 240 governs the rights of construction workers who are injured in gravity related accidents. Injuries may be caused by falling objects, as well as by falls from elevated workplaces. If a worker is performing certain types of necessary work and doing so at a height, the owner of the site or building and-or the general contractor are strictly liable for the injuries. Labor Law 240 is also known as the “Scaffold Law.”
The lawyers at The Perecman Firm will fight to protect the rights of injured constriction workers and their families. Lawyers at our firm have a track record of success handling New York construction lawsuits.