Construction sites aren’t just a pain to walk around or a slowdown on your daily commute – they pose serious risks to passersby and the employees at the site.
How serious? Construction accidents take hundreds of lives each year and injure many more. Compared to other industries, construction is one of the most dangerous jobs out there.
Just take this incident from November. A 44-year old construction worker was killed after a falling object hit him on the head at a six-story construction project in Brooklyn. Few details were listed in the news story, although the Department of Buildings is engaged in an ongoing investigation of the cause.
Unfortunately, falling objects and other types of construction accidents aren’t always without blame. If you or a loved one is seriously hurt in a New York construction site accident, you may have the right to take action against the entity responsible and seek out compensation for your injury.
How can you know if your accident was caused by negligence? Before you call up a lawyer, take a look at just a few of the reasons why so many accidents happen at New York construction sites.
Lack of Proper Safety Gear
We already know that falling objects are dangerous. In fact, they killed 90 construction workers in 2015. Even a nail from a few feet up can cause serious injuries if it comes down at a fast speed and hits certain parts of the body.
It is unclear whether the construction worker mentioned above from Brooklyn was given a hard hat or other safety gear before his accident – things that not only might have made a difference in whether he lived or died, but are required under safety guidelines.
Poor Cleaning and Maintenance
What is the number one cause of fatalities at construction sites? Falls. Year after year, slip and fall accidents take the top spot as the most dangerous accident on construction sites. These falls typically occur off of elevated surfaces, including stepladders, scaffolding, roofs, and upper floors that have not been completed.
Often, these falls are due to workers simply being off-balance. However, they can also be the result of negligence if an area is not properly maintained and kept free of things like spills or other materials that can lead to slips.
No matter what project you might be working on, you might come into contact with electrical systems. They may be in a building or on a nearby power line, and an unfortunate run-in with large electric current can lead to fatal cardiac arrest or other serious side effects.
Because of this risk, it is vital that workers be trained on how to deal with electrical systems and what to do if they encounter live wires. Without this training, no one should ever be allowed near electrical work.
Injuries from Defective Equipment
There are a lot of unsafe tools on construction sites. Did you know that non-powered hand tools cause more injuries than powered hand tools? Even if a tool seems like it is safe, it could still pose a risk to workers and the people surrounding them. Appropriate ear, eye, and hand protection should be worn at all times while using hand tools and other construction equipment.
Sometimes, though, even that isn’t enough. A worker can do everything correctly and still get injured by a tool – because the tool itself was not working properly.
When Construction Accidents Are Grounds for a NY Lawsuit
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) puts specific guidelines in place to prevent these accidents. OSHA is the reason you have to wear protective equipment and abide by certain procedures to keep your workplace tidy.
If supervisors or employees neglect these rules, it can result in a serious accident. Reach out to a lawyer for more information about what steps you can take if you believe neglect caused your New York construction accident.