Proposed Bills Focus on Construction Site Safety, Reducing Deaths

Bills Seek Mandatory Worker Training, Greater Penalties for Safety Violations

A recent report released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) showed that construction-related deaths are increasing. NYCOSH reported, among other things, that safety violations were prevalent and penalties for these violations were relatively small. Now, a total of 21 bills are being introduced that address construction safety.

Parker Waichman LLP is a national personal injury law firm with decades of experience representing workers in lawsuits over occupational hazards and other issues. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a construction site accident lawsuit.

The Housing and Buildings Committee for the New York City Council oversaw the newly introduced legislation. The bills seek stricter penalties for safety violations. Additionally, if the bills are passed, buildings over three stories high will have site-safety plans. The bills also seek mandatory training for workers.

In 2015, 17 construction workers died in New York City, OSHA reports. The number of fatalities was 14 in 2016. According to the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council, on-the-job deaths mostly result from lack of training. He noted that, “Right now there is no training standard,”

Six of the proposed bills focus on cranes. For example, implementing safety guidelines when winds are strong and phasing out the use of older cranes. The proposed legislation also wants greater monitoring. Specifically, a bill calls for the Buildings Department to track incidents lead to hospitalizations or deaths.

NYCOSH released its report in January, titled “Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State.” The report found that construction deaths are increasing, and that fatalities were more likely to occur on site that had safety violations.

“In this update of NYCOSH’s annual construction fatality reports, NYCOSH finds alarming trends, including an uptick in worker fatalities in New York State and New York City, an increasing number of accidents in construction, an increase in deaths due to falls, and safety violations at 90 percent of construction fatality sites,” the report states.

Among the sites inspected by OSHA in 2014, two-thirds (68 percent) had safety violations. That same year, safety violations were identified at 87 percent of sites that had construction site deaths. The report also found that Latino workers were disproportionately at risk.

NYCOSH reports that falls were the greatest cause of death, accounting for 49 percent of construction fatalities in New York state and 59 percent of construction fatalities in New York City.

Construction Accident Lawsuit

In New York, there are certain special provisions that provide legal rights to construction workers. Labor Law 240 relates to construction being done at high elevations, when a building is being erected or repaired. Workers working on scaffolding or ladders are entitled to certain safety measures, and if they are injured because they are not provided, the worker can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Labor Law 241 is when an injured worker can file a lawsuit under strict liability. This means that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant’s actions were negligent; the fault is given through a certain action that occurred. In this case, strict liability in a construction accident case would be invoked through a safety violation. Failing to adhere to the safety code in itself shows fault.

Negligence is when someone acts with careless and fails in their duty, causing injury to others.

Compensation from a lawsuit can help pay for medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses. Construction employees can also sue for pain and suffering and emotional damage. In some cases, a construction injury could cause permanent disability.

Employees who are injured on-the-job can receive workers’ compensation benefits, but sometimes this compensation is not enough to account for the serious injuries that occur on a construction site. If you receive compensation by filing a lawsuit against a third-party, you usually need to return a portion of the benefits received through workers’ compensation.

Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today if you have questions about filing a construction accident lawsuit. Our legal consultations are free and we work on a contingency fee, meaning you only pay if our firm wins your case.

Filing a Construction Site Injury Lawsuit

If you or someone you know is interested in filing a construction worker accident lawsuit, contact one of our personal injury attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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