The majority of injuries to workers on construction sites can be traced to inadequate safety provisions for construction workers. Employers are required to strictly adhere to workplace safety laws and can be fined by OSHA for violations, but even these penalties have not stopped injuries and fatal accidents from rising over the past few years. What are the main causes of construction accidents in New York State?
What Are the Main Causes of Construction Accidents in New York State?
According to reports from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the year 2016 saw 5,190 work-related deaths. This means that over 14 workers died each day of the year. In New York, there are four main causes of construction-related fatalities that are responsible for nearly 90% of all deaths on jobsites in the state. These accidents are referred to as the “Fatal Four,” and they are:
- Falls from elevation – Falls accounted for 38.7% of construction work-related deaths. The Safety and Health Regulations for Construction fall protection requirements say that: “The employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.”
- Struck by an object – 9.4% of deaths were due to victims being struck by an object. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that objects are secured, and workers can move around them safely. Neglecting to carry out precautionary methods or ignoring them altogether is a violation of their duty as employers.
- Electrocutions – Electrocutions accounted for 8.3% of deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Standards for electrical-related work details the requirements for wiring methods, requirements for branch circuits, how the rules apply in certain conditions and more.
- Caught in or between – 7.3% of victims died in 2016 as a result of being trapped between a wall and an object or in machinery. In general, employers are required to ensure that employees have a safe work environment. Being asked to carry out a task that you are not trained for, do not have the tools to complete or is considered hazardous is not justifiable.
Your Right to Compensation for Construction Injuries in New York
If a worker suffers an injury on a construction site, they may be able to take action and pursue one or more of the following claims:
- Workers’ compensation – With a few very narrow exceptions, all construction workers in New York are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job. This includes workers of any immigration status, including undocumented workers.
- Personal injury – If reckless or negligent actions of a third-party (like a contractor on the site) caused you serious harm, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim to secure compensation for your injuries and expenses.
- Defective products – If you were hurt due to malfunctioning or defective machinery, parts, or tools, the manufacturer or distributor may be held liable for your injuries.
- Wrongful death – The loss of a loved one in a construction accident is an unthinkable tragedy. Workers’ compensation death benefits are typically available for construction site fatalities. Depending on the circumstances, the family of the victim may also be entitled to file a wrongful death claim to secure fair and just compensation for funeral costs, loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and other damages.
There are specific protections for construction workers in New York’s labor laws, including special protections for workers who are required to work on scaffolding and ladders. If you have been hurt in an accident on a construction site, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your injury.
New York Construction Accident Attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we know that the men and women in the construction industry in New York work extremely hard for their paychecks. Working in this industry requires long hours and strenuous labor in an extremely hazardous environment. If you are injured in an accident on the job site, your health and financial wellbeing should be protected. From workers’ compensation claims to personal injury lawsuits, our firm is ready to help construction workers in New York state get the benefits and compensation they are owed if they’ve been hurt at work.
Since 1987, the team at Powers & Santola, LLP, has successfully represented injured construction workers in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse and all over the state of New York. Over the last 31 years, we have successfully garnered national recognition for our verdicts, settlements, and innovative approach to providing clients with compassionate care. Our attorneys maintain high ratings by AVVO, have been listed as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and were mentioned in New York Law Journal in 2016 for our Top Verdicts and Settlements.
If you have been hurt in an accident on a construction site, it is vital that you are aware of your rights and your legal options. We are here to ensure that you understand what type of compensation you might be owed and how you can go about securing it on behalf of yourself and your family.
Contact a New York Construction Accident Lawyer Today
The construction accident lawyers at Powers & Santola, LLP, have the experience you need on your side if you’ve been hurt on the job. If you have fallen from scaffolding, slipped and fell on a slick surface, or were harmed by heavy machinery or tools, you can turn to us for help.
We know that your life may be permanently altered as a result of your workplace accident. Our team is committed to helping workers and their families secure the benefits and compensation they need to get back on their feet and move on with their lives. With any injury claim, there is a limited time to act, so don’t hesitate to contact an experienced member of our team to discuss your case. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee until you obtain compensation for your injuries.