BUFFALO, N.Y. – We all would like to be able to predict the future. If we could predict construction accidents, we could have fewer of them; but that’s not the reality we live and work in. So far, no one has been able to see into the future but technology could help.
Thousands of workers are injured every year after accidents in mining, construction, trucking, manufacturing, and other industries. Many of those accidents can be linked to worker fatigue.
In an effort to monitor fatigue and improve safety across many industries, Caterpillar Safety Services created a ‘smartband’ that assesses a worker’s risk at any given moment.
Much like the popular Fitbit, the smartband uses sensors and other data to determine when a worker is suffering from a lack of sleep or fatigue. Cat has already been using the devices at mining sites for two years but Buffalo construction accident lawyers say almost every industry could use technology to improve safety records.
“Almost every time a worker is injured, it’s a preventable injury in Buffalo,” construction accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “There are many safety devices that could help reduce injuries on a jobsite but many employers don’t offer these items because they’re not required to and, in many cases, technology costs money.”
At any time, an employee can push a button on the smartband to view their measured fatigue. If their fatigue score reaches near 70%, the worker could be considered fatigue-impaired and they run a higher risk of an accident.
Studies have shown that technology like the wearable smartband can at least make workers – and employers – aware of fatigue on a construction site. In some cases, workers discovered they had underlying health conditions, such as sleep apnea.
Studies involving fatigue-monitoring equipment have also examined shift work.
“Different shifts can affect different workers in different ways but without the right information, bringing fatigue to your employer’s attention can be a difficult subject,” Barnes said. “Safety technology could give workers that data they need to bring up their concerns and hopefully, prevent accidents from happening in the first place.”
Buffalo construction accident lawyers said safety should always be the top priority in a work zone but many times, workers are asked to put in loads of overtime or they aren’t provided with enough training – both of which increase their risk of an accident.
When an employer’s negligence or lack of oversight causes an accident on a jobsite, workers could be entitled to significant compensation. The Buffalo construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have years of experience handling these cases and they could help an injured worker get the best result possible.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Police are investigating the death of a worker in South Buffalo’s Old First Ward. Officials told Channel 4 News the worker was identified as Jeffrey Langenfeld, 27, of Tonawanda.
A Buffalo Police Spokesman said Jeffrey Langenfeld died when a large piece of machinery fell on top of him. The Buffalo News reports the piece of machinery that killed Jeffrey Langenfeld was a crane that was located at an industrial yard at 220 Katherine Street.
In any crane accident, an immediate legal investigation can help families identify what happened and why. According to OSHA, most crane accidents can be prevented by adequately training workers to operate machinery safely and by setting strict safety protocols.
An experienced attorney can also help families get the best result possible from a claim by carefully examining all aspects of the accident including the weather conditions, wind conditions, possible mechanical malfunctions, the operator’s track record, and the maintenance record of the machinery.
In a recent analysis of federal data, Buffalo construction accident attorneys found that more construction accidents are caused by cranes than any other piece of equipment. Some of the most common causes of crane accidents included:
Improper crane set-up
Falling debris, hazardous conditions around the crane
Improper use of a crane
The most common victims in crane accidents also tend to be bystanders – or workers who are struck by objects that fall from the crane, or struck by the crane itself.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also responded to 220 Katherine Street, which is the location of the Buffalo Industrial Diving Co., also known as BIDCO, which conducts underwater salvage operations and other underwater services.
NEW YORK – The temperatures keep rising and this weekend, the mercury should rise above 90 degrees in the Big Apple. For some New Yorkers, that’s great news (since we only get a few months of warm temperatures) but for many others, it’s dangerous. Those who are outside must take preventative measures to protect themselves from heat stress and in some cases, employers must be careful too.
With the climbing temperatures, it is especially important for those working outside to stay cool; a New York construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says not only can heat stress cause exhaustion – it can also lead to serious injuries and illnesses.
“A worker can begin experiencing symptoms of heat stroke within minutes working outside in New York,” construction accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Heat exhaustion can lead to poor judgement and it can also slow down a worker’s motor skills so it’s important for everyone to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks in order to avoid serious injuries.”
Those who work outside face a higher risk of heat-related illnesses. Direct sunlight can add up to 15 degrees to the heat index. Although OSHA doesn’t have a specific safety standard for hotter temperatures, New York construction accident lawyers say employers have an obligation to protect workers from excessive heat.
“High temperatures are a hazard that anyone can identify but too often we see supervisors ignore safety and push workers to the point of exhaustion,” Cellino said. “It’s important for employers to take extra precautions to protect workers from overheating.”
During 2015, OSHA received more than 200 complaints of heat-related hospitalizations and at least eight workers were killed as the result of heat exposure. The agency reports it is already investigating several worker deaths this year.
Doctors and safety advocates say each accident is preventable and in most cases, simply giving workers water, rest and shade could have prevented an incident.
“Water is one of the most important aspects to staying cool during summertime heat waves,” Cellino said. “But when temperatures reach over 90 degrees, water alone may not be enough to prevent an accident – that’s why we are urging supervisors to give workers plenty of rest and time out of the sun while it remains hot outside.”
NEW YORK – Construction isn’t easy but someone has to keep building. That onus is on the backs of more than 1.5 million construction workers and carpenters in America. While many of them avoid injuries, accidents can happen – and they’re often costly when they do.
‘Material Handling’ simply means carrying an item. A New York construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says many workers can pull or strain muscles by lifting heavy items. While most of these injuries are minor, they can sometimes affect your job.
“Workers are lifting items in just about every industry in New York,” construction accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s no surprise that it’s the most common injury – but it can also leave a worker sidelined for weeks as the medical bills pile up.”
New York construction accident attorneys say most workers can get fully compensated for their injuries and lost wages but it often requires a skilled attorney to obtain a fair deal.
“Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible and that can be very frustrating for workers,” Cellino said. “Our lawyers have seen the devastation construction injuries can have on a worker and their family and we understand that a fair settlement can go a long way.”
Of course, it’s best to avoid injuries if possible.
Safety advocates urge both workers and managers to make the job site as safe as it can be. This includes:
Preventing slip and falls by keeping job sites clear of obstacles and hazards
Use caution when working from heights. Educate workers about proper safety practices and always place ladders on stable surfaces.
Provide safe equipment. In construction, tools and machines often require regular maintenance and should continually be reevaluated for safety.
Rest and reduce stress. Overuse injuries are among the most common on job sites. Proper rest and techniques can reduce your risk of injury.
Create a safety culture. Safety should be everyone’s top priority and all concerns should be properly addressed to prevent accidents from happening.
Even when these suggestions are followed, accidents can happen. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact a New York construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
For more information about the newest safe construction practices and techniques, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.
NEW YORK – Your ladder can be a great a tool if used properly but more people – men in particular – are getting injured or even killed while using a ladder. The issue is becoming so prominent that some experts are now strongly recommending the use of a helmet in all settings, even if you’re just working at home.
According to a recent study, this kind of accident almost exclusively affects men over the age of 55. The study examined over 500 falls from different heights and researchers determined that some falls from just three feet could be deadly.
“Falls from ladders are some of the most common cases we get because they happen both at home and on work sites in Manhattan,” construction accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “For those reasons, we strongly urge contractors to reevaluate their safety guidelines and for those working at home, take every precaution before stepping on a ladder.”
Of nearly 550 admissions after ladder falls, 58 people were taken to an intensive care unit. Of those 58 emergencies, 26 were immediately checked into a nursing home or rehab facility. Just 17 made a smooth recovery from their injuries and returned home. The remaining 15 died as a result of their injuries.
“We see how devastating these injuries can be in almost every case,” Cellino said. “Even those with minor injuries can find it hard to get back to being themselves again.”
Researchers believe the dramatic increase in ladder accidents is linked to the ageing baby boomer population and, in part, to ‘do-it-yourself’ home improvements. Manhattan construction accident attorneys are now urging those over 55 or those who are inexperienced to at least wear a helmet while working on ladders.
Cellino says the benefits of helmets far outweigh any inconvenience and they are proven to minimize the risk of the most serious injuries.
The team of researchers behind the ladder study is currently planning a second study – hoping to identify the exact cause(s) behind the increased number of ladder falls. This will begin in March.
NEW YORK – Whenever you see a crane towering over your neighborhood, the thought might cross your mind: what if it falls? Some construction professionals now consider that possibility every day after heavy crane collapsed in Tribeca earlier this month.
City inspectors are investigating the accident, hoping to discover the cause of the crane collapse that killed one person and injured three others. Initial reports suggest a 40-mph wind gust caused the crane to tip, according to the New York Daily News.
At the time of the incident, there were over 400 cranes in operation across the city. A New York construction accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says it’s important for every company using cranes to reassess safety.
“At the end of the day, everyone wants to go home to their families without an incident in New York,” construction accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Safety should always be a company’s top priority but unfortunately it often takes a back seat to profits and deadlines.”
Just hours after the crane accident in Tribeca, Mayor de Blasio introduced new safety protocols and penalties:
Penalties quadrupled for serious construction safety violations
New supervision requirements were added
An estimated 100 additional building inspectors will be hired
The city will conduct enforcement sweeps over the next 3 months
Hundreds of workers and pedestrians have been injured over the past year as the city experiences a building boom. New York construction accident attorneys say other cities watching, too. Places like Buffalo and Rochester have all reported more construction permits.
“When there’s an accident, many workers rely on us to get them the best result possible,” Cellino said. “This can be costly for construction companies but the bottom line is that almost every accident can be avoided.”
NEW YORK – You may have noticed your neighborhood is growing at a rapid pace and construction cranes dot the Manhattan skyline. The city is experiencing a major construction boom which has brought a number of new jobs to the area but it has also caused a number of serious accidents.
“Nearly 500 New Yorkers were hurt in construction mishaps last year and as personal injury attorneys, we get to know many of those families,” Manhattan construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “We form a bond with our clients and their families and they often want us to make sure these accidents don’t happen again.”
According to the Department of Buildings, construction is up 300 percent in New York and it’s causing some safety violations to slip through the cracks.
The construction boom has left the inspections division shorthanded. Recently, the department announced it would be hiring 100 new inspectors to help tackle the increased workload but even with more inspections, some argue the penalties are not harsh enough to deter safety violators.
Before Monday, the fine for ignoring the wind standards for cranes was just $4,800. Mayor de Blasio said the fine for these safety violations will be increased to $10,000 – effective immediately.
Manhattan construction accident attorneys hope the new changes will make jobsites safer across the city.
“It’s great to see the construction industry is creating jobs and we know many of the city’s construction workers are proud of what they do,” Barnes said. “But there’s nothing more important than your safety.”
WNYCOSH members also concluded that federal investigators don’t conduct enough safety inspections in the Buffalo-area. A construction accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says the findings are concerning and many workers could get hurt without the proper safety protocols.
“Too often, we see a company cut corners and compromise worker safety so it can meet deadlines or boost profits in Buffalo,” construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “When safety guidelines aren’t followed, a construction injury can be costly and devastating to workers and their families.”
There were thousands of construction permits issued in Western New York in 2014 and according to the WNYCOSH report, OSHA only conducted 288 inspections that year. That’s roughly one inspection per weekday in an area that covers ten counties, including two heavily populated metropolitan markets (Buffalo and Rochester).
Of OSHA’s inspections, the report found that 86 percent of all violations were classified as “serious,” “repeat” or “willful.”
“Safety violations should be unacceptable on construction sites but every day workers are risking their health and sometimes their lives,” Barnes said. “It is time for constructions businesses to put safety above the bottom line.”
The report stated it focused its research on construction falls because the construction industry and its insurance companies are currently backing legislation that would weaken New York State’s Scaffold Safety Law, which holds owners and contractors liable for many types of injuries.
The proposed changes would allow employers to take more safety shortcuts and the risk of worker falls would likely go up.
WNYCOSH members hope the findings can improve safety and raise the penalties for construction companies slapped with violations. Currently, the average penalty costs only $1,963 and WNYCOSH argues it is “too little to effectively deter construction employers from taking safety shortcuts.”
Many workers who have been injured on a construction site may need an advocate who will protect their rights and help them receive fair compensation. For over 50 years, the Buffalo construction accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped workers get the best results possible. Click here to learn more about construction injuries and how one of our legal advocates can help.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Whether you’re an employee or an employer, a workplace injury can cost you in many different ways. More than a million workers are injured on the job every year and some of them don’t get much help from their employer.
A Buffalo construction accident attorney at the law offices of Cellino & Barnes says prevention and immediate intervention can make the difference.
“Almost all workplace injuries can be prevented but these accidents still happen every day in Buffalo,” construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “When these injuries aren’t reported or immediately treated, that can raise costs for everyone and it could make it more difficult for that worker to recover.”
According to a study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, delays can increase costs by over 50 percent. The authors of the study said workers who immediately reported their injuries generally had better recovery times and lower costs associated with their accidents.
Barnes says a good attorney could also help reduce the costs connected with a workplace injury.
“Medical bills can be expensive and lost wages can be an added pain and distraction for any worker,” Barnes said. “Our attorneys focus on injuries and we understand what it takes to get you the best possible compensation in a workplace or construction accident.”
Most injured workers have never been hurt on the job before and some don’t know what to expect from the claims process. Barnes says an experienced Buffalo construction accident attorney can take care of the legal paperwork, forms and even schedule appointments with doctors.
Lawyers say although there are many uncertainties after a workplace accident, immediately reporting the injury and getting an attorney as soon as possible could make the recovery process a little easier. As some research suggests, it could also get you back to work faster.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Construction accidents are on the rise in New York State as more high rises and offices are being built. The construction boom is also sending a number of workers to the hospital for injuries suffered on a job site. Many of these injuries occur when workers are on overtime or when they’re overworked, according to a new study.
The report, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, found non-fatal injuries like strains and sprains were common among overworked employees. The workers who faced the highest risk were those who clocked-in long hours and had above average workloads.
A Buffalo construction accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes said frequent heavy lifting and long hours can put an unnecessary strain on a worker’s body, exposing them to a higher injury risk.
“Even when all the safety guidelines are followed, workers can be prone to accidents after a long day on a job site in Buffalo,” construction accident attorney Ross Cellino said.
The study examined nurses working night shifts and long hours and found their risk of muscle strains and sprains greatly increased when nurses had a busy day. Researchers said more studies are needed to identify ways to reduce injuries on the job.
Cellino said safety equipment and a limited workload can vastly improve the work environment.
“In some cases, our clients were overworked and didn’t receive the proper training, which led to serious injuries,” Cellino said. “These injuries could easily be prevented if managers and construction companies put safety first.”
Back strains and sprains were some of the most common injuries associated with overworked employees. Buffalo construction accident attorneys say these injuries can be minimized with the use of safety equipment and supervision. If a worker is injured, lawyers suggest calling a doctor first. If the injury persists, legal action may be necessary to recover the costs associated with expensive treatments or lost wages.
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