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Demolition Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries in NYC

Bulldozer demolishing a building

Injured workers have rights, and a construction accident lawyer can protect those rights

Demolition work can be very dangerous and often results in serious construction accidents, especially in New York City, where construction and demolition work constantly takes place due to the city's robust real estate market.

Not surprisingly, serious demolition accidents frequently occur in New York City on construction sites. That’s why it’s important for construction workers to be aware of the risks they face every day on the job and protect their legal rights if they're injured in an accident.

How often do demolition accidents happen?

Construction workers demolishing a building often sustain serious injuries or fatalities while on the job. A total of 78 construction workers were killed in demolition accidents in 2020, according to workplace accident statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those numbers come on the heels of a deadly 2019 when a total of 98 U.S. workers died in demolition accidents, the most on record since 2007.

As for New York and New York City, construction accidents have become even more common in recent years. In 2019, New York City construction accident fatalities increased for the third year in a row, according to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). Overall, 24 construction workers died in New York City in 2019. And many of them were doing demolition work at the time of their death.

Common causes of demolition accidents

Demolition accidents can cover a wide range. Safety + Health Magazine recently highlighted some of the dangers demolition workers face on the job. Different types of demolition accidents include:

  • Falling from a height, including scaffolding accidents and falling to a lower floor in a building, especially if there’s an unmarked opening in the floor.
  • Falling objects hitting employees, including demolition debris such as old roofing shingles falling and striking someone in the head.
  • Improperly secured ladders or scaffolding collapsing during demolition work.
  • Long-term health problems, including mesothelioma and other forms of cancer, due to breathing in hazardous materials such as asbestos or silica during demolition work.
  • Dehydration or passing out due to heat exhaustion.
  • Vision loss or total blindness due to objects piercing the eye.
  • Hearing loss or tinnitus caused by loud construction equipment, including jackhammers.
  • Severe burns caused by electrical accidents, gas explosions, or dangerously hot objects.

These are just some of the most common ways demolition workers suffer injuries. Whatever type of demolition injury or accident you’re dealing with, make sure you receive immediate medical care. Then, talk to a construction accident lawyer right away to learn more about your legal rights and options.

How demolition accidents happen

Demolitions accidents often occur because someone behaved recklessly or negligently. Sometimes, co-workers are to blame. Other times, a separate third party such as a subcontractor can be responsible. But in many cases, it’s the employer that made a mistake that resulted in an accident.

Common causes include:

  • Failure to perform an engineering survey prior to performing demolition work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires demolition companies to perform such surveys before undertaking a demolition project. Unfortunately, some companies skip this step, resulting in building collapses or objects falling and striking employees during demolition work.
  • Not properly training demolition workers or warning them about potential hazards before starting such work.
  • Not providing demolition workers with safety equipment, including hardhats, safety goggles, ventilation devices, construction-grade earplugs, and other equipment designed to protect a worker’s eyes and ears.
  • Not following standard procedures when performing demolition work, including failure to properly handle or dispose of hazardous materials like asbestos.

Our attorneys win big for injured construction workers in NYC

Demolition accidents often turn into very complicated legal cases. Part of it has to do with the fact that there’s often more than one company working at a construction site. And when demolition accidents happen, no one often wants to take responsibility for what happened.

The New York construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP can help you every step of the way. We thoroughly understand the rules and regulations governing demolition work in New York. That’s because we have decades of experience successfully handling such complicated legal cases.

We know how to work for the people who make New York work. To see how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced NYC construction accident attorney.

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