NEW YORK – There’s a construction boom with as many as 150,000 workers building homes, businesses and offices around the city. Some projects are daunting, but the biggest challenge these workers face is safety.
Since 2015, thirty construction workers have died at New York work sites. In response, City Council introduced the Construction Safety Act in January. The legislative package consists of 21 bills that aim to regulate, change and enforce safety in construction zones.
Parts of this package have been controversial, drawing protests from both sides. However, most of those who will be impacted by these bills agree that there needs to be a commitment to safety. The problem has been, and still is, determining what policies will be most effective.
“Falls account for nearly 40-percent of all work zone injuries in New York,” construction accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Electrocutions and falling objects are also common causes of injury, but proper training and the most up-to-date safety equipment can help reduce the number of accidents.”
In 2015, falls accounted for 364 out of the 937 total deaths in construction. If falls, electrocutions, falling objects, and pinning accidents could be prevented, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 602 lives would have been saved that year.
OSHA is the arm of the Department of Labor which ensures that construction sites are abiding by today’s safety standards. However, there are gaps in the standards themselves.
New York construction accident lawyers say many workers receive little-to-no training, and some work sites lack proper supervision.
Superintendents in New York City are only required to take a 10-hour OSHA course in construction safety, and many organizations feel that is not enough. The Building Trades Employers’ Association has recommended at least 30-hours of training for construction superintendents.
“Training is really at the heart of construction safety,” Cellino said. “Workers that can identify possible safety hazards are crucial in today’s construction industry, and proper training has been proven to reduce the number of accidents at a given work site.”
It is the employer’s responsibility to provide workers with adequate training and safety equipment before placing them in a construction zone. Unfortunately, not all workers get the same treatment.
Construction accidents can be serious and life-altering. Many victims may not be able to work again, while others may experience a decreased value of life. Although some injuries and scars may never be healed, there is a process to get financial compensation after an accident.
The New York construction accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped many New Yorkers get significant financial compensation after a fall, electrocution, or other injury on a construction site. This compensation can help workers with:
Pain & Suffering
If you or a family member has been injured on a construction site, contact the personal injury firm other New Yorkers have trusted for over 50 years. A New York construction accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes can provide you with a FREE case evaluation, and they will custom-make a legal claim for your specific needs.
NEW YORK – Construction safety is a hot topic in the metro-area, and for good reason. In the past two years, more than 30 workers have died on work sites – and many more have been injured in preventable accidents.
It’s not a trend the city is particularly proud of. Recently, city council passed a bill that would track and publish a list of accidents at area construction sites. In the past, many accidents went unreported, but the newly passed legislation aims to reduce that bad habit by fining companies up to $25,000, if they fail to report an accident.
Other safety measures were included in the bill aim to make work zone safety a priority in New York. But a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the concerns extend beyond city and state borders.
“Construction accidents are on the rise across the country, and it’s very concerning – especially for families with workers in active areas like Brooklyn,” construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “From a safety standpoint, it’s important to keep up-to-date on major reports and statistics to make sure companies are abiding the regulations and standards that are necessary to keep our friends and loved ones safe when they’re on the job.”
4% – How much private construction fatalities have increased in just one year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Researchers found that workplace incidents are at their highest number since 2008.
47% – The share of fatalities that happen at small companies, or businesses with fewer than 10 employees. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, nearly half of all construction accidents involve smaller, often privately-owned, contractors. The Brooklyn construction accident attorneys say there is often less oversight at smaller companies, increasing the risk for workers.
250 micrograms – The maximum measurement of silica dust workers are legally allowed to be exposed to. This is an important number because contractors will soon be required to adhere to more stringent policies. This fall, OSHA will begin enforcing a new silica rule, which only allows workers to be exposed to 50 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour period. Silica has been linked to lung cancer, kidney disease, and many other illnesses that are currently affecting thousands of Americans.
6,929 – The number of citations construction companies received last year for failing to provide workers with safety equipment that can reduce, or eliminate injuries as the result of falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury on U.S. construction sites, and many contractors are required to use harnesses, helmets, and other fall-protection items.
553,000 – The number of lives that have been saved due to regulations implemented in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. According to the AFL-CIO, safety regulations are working – but Brooklyn construction accident attorneys say there’s room for improvement. If all contractors supplied their workers with the most up-to-date training and safety equipment, most accidents could be prevented.
$1.5 Million – The fine one company received after a 2016 trench collapse killed a worker. That’s just the fine. There are other costs associated with a serious construction accident.
Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t quick to give construction workers the maximum compensation they’re entitled to after an injury; and obtaining a strong legal advocate can help families get the best results possible.
The Brooklyn construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many families in their fight to get what is fair, and the New York law firm has obtained over $2 billion for injured clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a work site or while operating heavy machinery, a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes can fight to get you compensation that will help cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact an experienced Brooklyn construction accident attorney for a FREE case evaluation:
NEW YORK – Lawmakers in every state are introducing new bills this year that aim to improve workplace safety. These changes could be important in many places, as construction booms and increased traffic have caused a spike in the number of accidents.
In Kansas, lawmakers are considering a plan that would put workplace safety enforcement in the hands of the state’s Department of Labor. Traditionally, enforcement has been the duty of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but Kansas legislators argue that OSHA has been taxed by recent cuts, and the state could do a better job of making sure all construction sites and businesses maintain a safe working environment.
In Kentucky, coal is king. It’s also a risky business, but with the proper safety regulations in place, state lawmakers believe the number of accidents can be reduced. The state increased the number and frequency of mine inspections a few years ago and now, many lawmakers hope to keep inspectors busy – and some are looking to increase the number of inspections.
And in New York, the city is planning to spend billions of dollars to redesign streets and begin working on several construction safety projects. The new road designs aim to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe from the city’s buzzing traffic. Many of those who will benefit from these updated streets are construction workers who use city sidewalks and bike lanes to commute to work.
Construction workers in the Big Apple have been fighting a battle of their own. City Council introduced a package of 21 bills that would promote safety on work sites. This “Construction Safety Act” was developed as a direct response to the spike in construction accidents in New York over the past few years.
With any type of legislation, there are pros and cons – but the focus remains the same: preventing another construction accident in New York, and other respective states.
Unfortunately, accidents are common in these jobs – even when safety is a top priority. If you’ve been injured in an accident, the New York construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help.
Trusted with personal injury cases for over 50 years, a New York construction accident attorney can help hard working New Yorkers get the best result possible from an injury claim. At Cellino & Barnes, their experienced New York construction accident attorneys are focused on helping their clients maximize their results.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – One of the victims of a 2015 work site accident will receive a $5 million settlement that will help cover the costs of medical treatments, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other daily expenses.
The victim was working on a flatbed truck delivering steel I-beams to a Western New York construction site in April, 2015. Operators were using a boom crane to unload the cargo when the tall crane came into contact with high-power wires above.
The contact with the power lines caused the victims’ truck to energize, and it sent more than 7,000 volts of electricity through the workers’ bodies.
In comparison, the electric chair only carried 2,000 volts.
The accident killed one worker, and injured two others. One of the survivors of that accident, an Ontario County man represented by Cellino & Barnes, has accepted the settlement after nearly two years of negotiations.
A Rochester construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says no sum of money will ever restore this man’s life to the way it was before the incident, but the settlement will allow the victim and his family to afford the care and treatment he will likely need for the remainder of his life.
“It’s heartbreaking when accidents like this happen, and it can be overwhelming to an entire family,” Rochester construction accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “This man will have to live with devastating injuries and burns the rest of his life, and these frustrations are amplified because incidents like these can be prevented.”
According to public records, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation revealed that many provisions were not in place before this accident. Investigators later issued citations and penalties to the victims’ employer.
Rochester construction accident attorneys say these citations are far too common on work sites – and the solutions are often simple, like training programs or oversight to ensure workers are taking the proper safety precautions.
“This incident reemphasizes the need for safe work site practices across the nation,” Rochester personal injury attorney Kerby Wright said. “When safety procedures are in place, it ensures that other workers will be able to return home to their families every evening without harm.”
The National Safety Council reports that nearly 5 million people are injured on the job every year – and almost 4,000 workers are killed, as the result of a preventable accident.
Construction sites or jobs involving transportation or warehousing are the most accident-prone industries, but safety advocates said injuries have been reported in every type of career – even those that are not labor intensive.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a work site, the law offices of Cellino & Barnes can help. Their Rochester construction accident lawyers have helped many people across the nation get compensation for their injuries, and their clients have received more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
When a job-related accident puts you in the hospital, trust the firm that has helped other hard-working families get the compensation they deserved. Contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – The last few years have been busy for city construction workers. Timecards are being punched and paychecks are being cashed, but not everything is good on the work site.
Since the construction boom began, work-related deaths have spiked in New York City, from 17 deaths in 2011 to 25 job site fatalities in 2015. Across the state, construction injuries are up 40 percent, according to a new report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health that was released on Wednesday.
When you factor-in the number of injuries, construction accidents in New York State have skyrocketed from 128 in 2011 to over 400 in 2015.
At the same time, the number of safety inspections has been steadily falling.
Federal investigators with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) conducted nearly 3,000 inspections in 2011 – but that number has fallen to just over 1,900 in 2015, the report found.
That’s a drop of nearly 30 percent. According to researchers, the sudden lack of safety inspections is due to staff reductions; New York State simply has fewer inspectors.
In 20112, there were more than 80 inspectors checking work zones for safety hazards. Today, there are only about 66 active inspectors.
The Most Common Accidents are Preventable
Worker falls are the most common construction accident, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all construction-related injuries or deaths in New York. The safety report says that’s far above the national average of 36 percent.
The study combed over thousands of OSHA inspections and found that around 70 percent of the inspections resulted in safety violations and citations.
The data suggests that injuries most often occur on sites with poor oversight, and in work zones with few safety measures in place.
A Manhattan construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says almost every injury is preventable with the proper safety equipment and procedures, but these precautions are ignored too often, causing pain to workers and their families.
“Most of the construction accidents we see occur in non-union work zones in Manhattan,” construction accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “We also see a lot of injuries happen under the supervision of the same contractors, which have often been subject to numerous safety violations.”
In fact, 93 percent of the contractors that OSHA has cited multiple times are non-union contractors.
The Need for Safety
Many construction companies and contractors have a superb record, and safety advocates say they’re doing something right: they’re often very cautious when it comes to safety policies and require workers to wear protective gear at all times.
However, not all sites abide by the same policies. Some construction companies lobbied against a package of 19 construction safety bills that were brought to City Council this week, despite overwhelming support from trade unions.
Safety advocates say the culture must change on many construction sites, and if it does, construction accidents could be a thing of the past.
If the Worst Occurs
Unfortunately, accidents are still occurring at high rates. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, there are people who can stand-up for your rights and fight the companies who may have been able to prevent an incident.
The Manhattan construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have been fighting for hard-working New Yorkers for over 50 years, and they have a track record of winning cases for their clients.
If you’ve been hurt, call a Manhattan construction accident attorney today for a free consultation.
NEW YORK – City Council is expected to introduce a new package of bills that would address a recent spike in the number of construction accidents in the Big Apple.
If all the bills get passed, New York could see more apprenticeship programs and construction sites would be required to provide additional safety training. The bills also aim to change how the Department of Buildings reports accidents in construction zones, and develop a task force to improve and safeguard the city’s minority workforce.
Although the bills are receiving high praises from some safety advocates, critics are taking aim at the apprenticeship programs. According to Politico, contractors would be required to hire workers who have participated in such a program.
Many development companies aren’t on-board with that, and they’ve blasted apprenticeship programs as a way to give non-unionized workers a foothold in the construction industry, which is currently booming. Developers say the bills could make costs spike, or even shut down some construction sites, resulting in lost jobs.
However, supporters of the safety package believe this is a matter of life and death.
A New York construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says over the past two years, more than two-dozen workers have died on construction sites in New York City, and many more have been seriously injured.
In early December, another worker fell four stories to his death while installing a façade in Williamsburg.
In another case, a construction foreman was sentenced one to three years behind bars in December after a 22-year-old worker was crushed to death when the trench he was working in collapsed. A Manhattan judge said the foreman’s negligence killed the worker.
A New York construction accident attorney says almost every construction injury can be prevented by following sound safety practices but many times, safety is not the strongest emphasis: timeliness and profit come first too often.
Workers, unions, contractors, and construction companies have been lobbying City Council for months; each making their recommendations about what regulations they’d like to see in place.
The bills are expected to be introduced to the New York City Council next week.
If A Construction Accident Impacts Your Family
If you or a loved one has been injured in work zone, the New York construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible from a claim.
Don’t fight the construction and insurance companies alone: many accident victims have relied on our experienced New York construction accident attorneys to hire expert witnesses and doctors to make sure our clients maximize their compensation.
With offices across New York State, Cellino & Barnes have the resources you need – and their attorneys don’t get paid unless they win your case. Call one of our legal advocates today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – If you’ve ever been injured on the job, you’re not alone. Every year, around 3 million workers suffer injuries or illnesses while on the clock and the costs associated with those injuries can be staggering.
That’s over $50 billion each year that employers spend on injured workers. A Brooklyn construction accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says that amount is astounding when compared to the amount employers spend on preventing accidents.
“There are a number of construction sites that have been flagged for safety violations – and that’s just in Brooklyn,” construction accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Many job sites are downright dangerous but workers are told to punch-in every day despite the risks, which can be minimized but some employers refuse to put safety first.”
A recent U.C. Davis study found that when indirect costs such as loss of productivity, overtime paid to other workers and lower worker morale were factored-in, it brought the price tag associated with construction injuries to nearly $250 billion per year.
The hidden costs could be even more severe to the injured worker.
Brooklyn construction accident lawyers say workers often suffer the most when they’re injured on the job.
“Many workers are quite literally risking their lives; and when they do suffer an injury, they still have their monthly bills to pay – on top of the medical bills and lost time at work,” Barnes said. “It’s our job to help construction workers get what’s fair and improve jobsite safety for others.”
Workers want to feel safe. But many construction employers have assumed that injuries are part of the job – and their insurers are prepared to pay as little as possible.
However, many industry researchers agree: improved safety is the best option for everyone.
Studies of workplace safety programs from around the nation have shown a better return on investment (and a better safety track record). Unfortunately, those safety programs are often turned away and as a result, more workers could suffer severe injuries or even death.
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.”
For more information about Cellino & Barnes or for more summertime safety tips, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.
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