Safety Code Violations

Have You Been Injured Due to a Safety Code Violation?

Construction is heavily regulated, and for good reason. It’s dangerous. When safety is ignored at construction sites, both construction workers and passersby can be seriously injured or killed. Safety is the primary reason behind New York City’s strict building code, and violations of the code cause or contribute to many serious injuries and deaths at construction sites.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident and suspect that a safety code violation was a factor, the New York construction accident attorneys at The Orlow Firm can help. We have more than 30 years of experience investigating and holding building owners, contractors and others responsible for construction accidents.

Our father-and-sons legal team represents workers injured in construction accidents throughout New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. Contact us online or call (646) 647-3398 for a free consultation.

Code Violations Have Consequences

Building owners and contractors must usually obtain permits and submit to inspections by the city for construction work. When the New York City Buildings Department finds hazardous or unsafe conditions, it issues a stop work order. Thousands of these orders are issued each year, but construction workers and others continue to suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries as a result of safety code violations.

Our law firm can help with injuries that result from:

  • Health and sanitation violations
  • Faulty plumbing
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Failing to obtain a permit
  • Slippery conditions
  • Unsafe entries
  • Inadequately secured ladders and scaffolds
  • Exposed holes with no warning signs
  • Inadequate safety equipment

If you have been injured on a work site, our law firm can help you. We can refer you to a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer, and we will thoroughly investigate your accident for a third-party liability claim stemming from a code violation or another careless or negligent act.

Contact The Orlow Firm

To learn more about how we can help you with a potential claim based on a code violation, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will owe us no attorney’s fees unless we obtain compensation for your claim.

Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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The ‘Fatal Four’ Cause More Than Half of Construction Deaths

At any construction site, a single error can result in serious injuries or deaths. Machinery can be defective or misused. Co-workers can leave holes uncovered. Protective gear may not be properly installed. Despite the limitless ways that construction accidents can happen, the many serious accidents have similar causes. In fact, more than half of fatal construction accidents have one of four causes.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls these construction accidents the Fatal Four. They include:

  • Falls, which caused 35 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2011
  • Being struck by objects, which caused 10 percent of fatal accidents in 2011
  • Electrocutions, which caused 9 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2011
  • Being caught in or between objects, which caused 2 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2011

According to OSHA, eliminating these four types of accidents could save 419 workers’ lives each year.

Third-Party Construction Claims May Be Available

Construction workers who are injured on the job – whether through the most common accident causes or not – may generally seek workers’ compensation for their injuries. They may also be able to obtain additional compensation through a civil claim. These civil claims are filed against third parties whose negligence or wrongdoing contributed to the workers’ injuries. Successful third-party claims may result in more compensation than workers’ compensation benefits would provide.

In one ladder accident case, an electrician was working for a contractor on construction of a new weight room at the former Shea Stadium in Queens. He stood on an 8-foot A-frame ladder as he worked on electrical service to the weight room. According to a lawsuit filed later, the ladder rested on plywood, and there were 12-inch steel I-beams and pieces of gravel the size of golf balls scattered around the floor.

The plywood shifted as the worker came down the ladder, and he fell. His head hit concrete, and his body landed on large gravel pieces and metal beams. He filed suit against the Mets, which played at Shea Stadium, for failing to provide him with a safe place to work and failing to warn him of the dangerous conditions. After a 2012 trial in front of a judge, the worker and his wife were awarded $3.85 million. The accident happened in 2003.

In another case, a mechanic installing duct work fell through a hole in a building under construction. He suffered a herniated disk, which required a laminectomy, discectomy and fusion, a rotator cuff tear that required surgical repairs, and a knee sprain. He sued the general contractors for the project, alleging that they had failed to provide a safe place to work and failed to warn of danger. He won a $1 million verdict.

Contact An Attorney

As OSHA statistics show, falls like these are common causes of construction accidents. If you have fallen from a ladder or scaffolding, fallen through a hole during building demolition, or been injured in some other way, you may be able to file a third-party claim. The situations in which a third-party claim can be filed are not always obvious. An experienced attorney can assess your case and explain your options.

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Construction Accident Resource Links

Employee workplace rights
From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). What to do if you question the safety of your workplace. Lists addresses and phone numbers for more information.

OSHA Construction eTool
This eTool will help you identify and control the hazards that commonly cause the most serious construction injuries.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury.

Department of Labor (DOL) resources for workers
Resource for workers, including information on each state’s workers’ compensation laws, whistleblower protection and health and safety guidelines.

OSHA Construction Resource Manual
The manual contains important information on inspections, penalties for violations, reporting requirements for injuries, access to records, health and safety standards and more.

Manufacturing and construction statistics
Features construction statistics, including new residential construction and sales, residential improvements, permits and more, from the United States Census Bureau.

Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program
Resource for employees whose employers have discriminated or retaliated against them for filing a workplace hazard complaint with OSHA. Provides information on the types of employer activities that may constitute retaliation or discrimination, the steps for filing a complaint against an employer and links to the OSHA Whistleblower Investigations Manual.

Construction safety and health information
Information on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) program that seeks to develop goals and performance measures for decreasing construction accidents and injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, contact The Orlow Firm today for a free consultation and case evaluation. (646) 647-3398

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Construction Accidents – An Overview

The lawyers of The Orlow Firm have helped individuals who have been injured in forklift, crane and elevator accidents, and other accidents, on construction sites in New York. When you retain our services, you can rely on our effective representation, personal client service and focus on results. We are dedicated to helping each client recover maximum compensation for their injuries.

Construction workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country on a daily basis. Although there are regulations, statutes, ordinances and industry standards that mandate employers must provide a reasonably safe working environment, construction workers still suffer serious injuries at an alarming rate. The sheer number of hazards on a construction site makes it virtually impossible to prevent all injuries from occurring. These hazards include falls from scaffolds and other elevations, being struck by moving or falling machinery, electrocution, health hazards resulting from exposure to asbestos and chemicals, injuries caused by defective or unsafe equipment, and lifting and repetitive motion injuries.

If you have suffered, or if one of your family members has suffered, injuries as the result of a construction accident, a lawyer experienced in construction accident and injury litigation from The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, can help you understand your rights.

Who may be liable for a construction site injury?

There are many different parties who may be liable when a construction worker suffers a work-related illness or injury:

  • Property owners
  • General, prime and sub-contractors
  • Architects, engineers or other designers
  • Construction managers
  • Suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and materials
  • Insurers

The liability of these various parties depends on the type of management and oversight system of the construction project. With regard to liability for construction workers’ injuries, the main legal question concerns who maintains control and authority over the property where the work is being done and the type of work that is being done. For example, in larger projects, much of the work is delegated to sub-contractors, whether by general contractors or a construction management organization.

It is important to name all potential liable parties at the outset of any litigation to preserve your claim against them. An experienced construction litigation attorney can help you determine who the responsible parties may be according to the specific circumstances of your case.

OSHA and safety regulations

Safety regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) have been adopted by most states in some form, and these regulations apply to work done at construction sites. Whether a general contractor, sub-contractor or other party has the responsibility for ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations often turns on who was in control of the job site or job activity when the employee was injured. The legal effect of a violation of OSHA regulations will vary depending on the state in which the injury took place. In certain jurisdictions, if it can be shown that an OSHA regulation was violated and an injury resulted, no additional evidence is needed to establish that the employer was negligent.

OSHA regulations are not the only legal standards to which a property owner, general contractor or sub-contractor may be held in determining liability for a construction accident. Often the property owner or general contractor will have his or her own set of safety rules, either generally applicable or specific to the construction project at hand, designed to protect those performing work on the project. Violations of these regulations may serve to support a claim for damages following a construction site accident.

Pursuing a claim for a construction accident injury

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at a construction site, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights:

  • Report the injury to your employer and/or construction site manager as soon as possible, noting the name and position of the person you notified.
  • Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
  • If possible, try to preserve any evidence related to your injury by taking photographs of the area where you were injured, taking photographs of the injuries themselves) or keeping the equipment or tool that was involved in your injury.
  • Get medical attention for your injuries.
  • Consult an attorney as soon as possible to help you evaluate any potential claims and discuss your state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Contact a construction accident attorney

Your case may be won or lost based on the work done before it goes to trial. Discussing your case with a lawyer who is experienced in the area of construction injury law is a good place to start. Contact The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in handling construction accident injury cases.

Copyright © 2014 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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Construction Injuries at a Glance

The lawyers of The Orlow Firm have helped individuals who have been injured in forklift, crane and elevator accidents, and other accidents, on construction sites in New York. When you retain our services, you can rely on our effective representation, personal client service and focus on results. We are dedicated to helping each client recover maximum compensation for their injuries.

Hazards posed by construction sites include exposure to noise, dust and other chemicals, working from high elevations and in confined spaces, working with power tools and other mechanical equipment, exposure to electricity and performing excavations. More information on the specific types of injuries suffered by construction workers is provided below.

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries as the result of an accident at a construction site, consult an attorney to learn about your rights to compensation. Contact The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in construction site accident litigation who can help you explore your legal options.

Common construction site injuries

  • Falls — Falls are the most common source of injury and death for construction workers. While the greatest number of falls occurs from ladders and scaffolding, construction workers also suffer serious injuries and die in falls from roofs, buildings, openings in structures, and stairs and steps.
  • Electrocution — Construction workers also are at risk for injury and death from electrocution or other electricity-related injuries, such as electric shock and burns. These types of injuries are not only caused by contact with power lines and other sources of high voltage. Construction workers also can be injured by contact with faulty wiring, broken light bulbs or other equipment in contact with an electric source, like a ladder.
  • Cave-ins — Construction workers involved in excavation work face the possibility of cave-ins. General contractors should take precautions before the excavation project begins to limit the possibility of a cave-in from occurring. For example, OSHA standards require employers to create a support system designed to protect workers from the hazards created by the specific type of excavation work, the environment of the site, such as soil type, water flow, climate and other factors.
  • Other injuries — Construction workers also face injury from a number of other sources, such as defective machinery and tools, bodily and head injuries from falling objects, and illnesses from ingesting silica-based dust, asphalt fumes and other chemicals, among others.

Contact a construction accident lawyer

Contact The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, to schedule a consultation.

Copyright © 2014 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Read More