Recently, a construction site in Brooklyn was shut down by city officials after a worker sustained serious head trauma due to a fall from an unfinished stairwell, NY Daily News reports. At the time of the accident, masonry was being installed in the stairwell shaftway. The worker fell nine feet into the basement from ground level while using a crowbar to remove a wood plank around the stairwell, according to witnesses. In addition, the worker wasn't wearing a safety harness.
Following the accident, a full stop work order was placed on the worksite. The injured worker's employer, Avo Construction, LLC, was cited for six violations, according to Joe Soldevere, spokesman for the city's Department of Buildings. One citation included an "aggravated penalty for failure to safeguard the site" due to lack of guardrails around the shaftway.
Prevalence of falls in construction
Luckily, in this incident, the worker survived. Not all construction workers hurt on the job are as fortunate. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In 2017, approximately 366 out of 971 construction deaths involved falls to lower levels. The agency asserts that workers are at risk of sustaining serious injuries or being killed when working at heights of six feet or higher.
In order to mitigate the risk, it's the responsibility of construction companies to survey a worksite and ensure that all areas are safeguarded and workers are provided with proper equipment. Cutting costs by leaving out proper safeguards not only puts workers in danger, but can cost construction companies more money in the long run.
Safety equipment, such as fall arrest systems and harnesses, should always be provided, properly fitted, and inspected on worksites six feet or higher. Additionally, adequate safety training should be regularly provided to workers.
Your legal options if hurt due to a fall
The New York City workers' compensation attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law have seen the devastation falls cause to workers. If you were hurt on the job, we want to ensure that the claims process goes as smoothly as possible and you receive the right care while recovering from your injuries. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to helping injured workers recover medical expenses and lost wages while they're unable to attend work.
Don't wait to get started. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.