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7 Common Causes of a New York Construction Accident

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7 Common Causes of a New York Construction Accident

As a New York construction worker, you play an indispensable role in constructing the vital infrastructure our communities rely on. Day in and day out, you work with a commitment to safety and excellence, ensuring our roads, bridges, and buildings stand strong.

Yet, the looming risk of construction accidents is a reality, with repercussions that can profoundly affect you and your family’s lives.

If you’ve suffered an injury from a construction accident in New York, know that The Harrison Law Group is on your side. We recognize the severe impact of these accidents, from debilitating injuries to mounting medical bills and missed paychecks.

With over 30 years of experience serving construction accident victims in New York, our construction accident attorneys will fight for you to get fair compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one have been in a construction accident, call us at (631) 465-9797 to schedule your FREE consultation. You get better. We’ll take care of the rest.

What are Some Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

New York’s bustling construction sites are hives of activity. Yet, with all that activity comes risk. While accidents are sometimes inevitable, understanding their causes can pave the way to better prevention. Here are seven of the common causes:

1. Falls from Heights

A significant number of construction workers suffer injuries due to falls from ladders, scaffolding, or roofs. Often, these falls stem from insufficient safety gear, unstable scaffolding, or mere oversight.

According to a 2022 Construction Safety Report, falls remained the leading source of both injuries and fatalities among New York City construction workers. In 2022, nearly 200 workers were injured from falls, with nine tragic fatalities resulting from such incidents.

2. Electrocution

Often, workers might not fully recognize the electrical risks in their workplace, putting them at an increased risk of electrocution. The following electrical hazards commonly contribute to electrical injuries:

  • Contact with power lines
  • Lack of ground-fault protection
  • Path to ground missing or discontinuous
  • Equipment not used in the manner prescribed
  • Improper use of extension and flexible cords

3. Struck by Objects

Construction sites buzz with activity, where machinery like cranes and hoists constantly shift and sway. Workers need to be vigilant regarding the following:

  • Constant Movement: With heavy machinery like cranes, forklifts, and hoists in action, there’s always something being lifted, shifted, or transported. The hustle and bustle make it imperative for workers to always be aware of their surroundings.
  • Falling Tools and Equipment: Something as simple as a misplaced wrench or unsecured brick can turn deadly when dropped from a height. Secure storage and tethering solutions are essential to prevent such mishaps.
  • Swaying Loads: Large beams, panels, or even buckets of materials being moved can sway unpredictably, especially in windy conditions. Proper rigging and handling techniques are crucial to manage these challenges.

4. Caught Between Objects

Construction sites are bustling with activity, and amidst all the movement, workers face a real risk due to the following:

  • Rapid Movements: Heavy machinery, like excavators and forklifts, move quickly, often transitioning from one task to another. A lapse in attention or a wrong step can result in a worker being pinned between this equipment and a solid surface.
  • Vehicle Blind Spots: Construction vehicles with large bodies, like dump trucks, have significant blind spots. Workers in these zones may not be visible to the vehicle operator, leading to dangerous situations.
  • Machinery Snags: Loose clothing, laces, or even tools can easily get caught in the moving parts of machinery. It’s imperative to wear snug-fitting attire and be mindful of your proximity to operating equipment.
  • Material Piles: Stacks of building materials or debris can shift or collapse, trapping workers underneath or between them. Ensuring stable stacking and using barriers can help mitigate this risk.

5. Fires and Explosions

Construction sites are hotspots for potential fires and explosions due to the prevalence of hazardous materials. Chemicals used in various construction processes can be volatile if not handled or stored correctly.

Similarly, flammable materials, often essential for welding or cutting tasks, can ignite suddenly when exposed to sparks or high temperatures.

Open flames, if not monitored and managed carefully, can lead to fast-spreading fires, especially in areas with combustible materials. Given the densely packed nature of many construction sites, these fires can escalate rapidly, leading to severe injuries or even loss of life.

6. Inadequate Training

Safety on the construction site is everyone’s responsibility, and a lot of that responsibility comes down to proper training. A lack of proper training is a leading cause of construction accidents. Let’s break down why training isn’t just a box to tick but a real, life-saving necessity:

  • Machinery & Tools Know-How:
      • Familiarize yourself with each tool’s safety rule.
      • Lack of knowledge risks your and your co-worker’s safety
  • Beyond Basic Operation:
      • Master safety protocols, not just equipment use
      • Be ready for unexpected situations
  • Communication is Key:
      • Clear instructions prevent accidents
      • Always ensure everyone’s on the same page
  • Stay Updated:
    • Embrace regular training sessions for new methods
    • Safety drills reinforce a culture of caution

7. Lack of Safety Measures

Even the best-trained worker is vulnerable if the work environment lacks essential safety provisions. It’s essential that the work environment is equipped with the necessary precautions:

  • Fall Protection: Many accidents happen due to slips or falls. Proper railing, harness systems, and safety nets can make all the difference in preventing a tragedy.
  • Equipment Safety: Tools and machinery can pose a significant threat if not properly guarded. From covering sharp edges to ensuring machines have safety switches, it’s crucial to minimize the risks.
  • Clear Signage: Well-placed warning signs can alert workers to potential hazards, whether it’s wet floors, overhead loads, or electrical dangers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Providing workers with the right gear, like helmets, gloves, and safety goggles, is a fundamental step in ensuring their protection.
  • Regular Inspections: Continuously checking and maintaining equipment can help catch issues before they become threats.

What Can You Do If You Have Safety Concerns?

If you have concerns about the safety of your work environment, there are several steps you can take to address those concerns:

Open Dialogue

Start by discussing your concerns with your supervisor or manager. A straightforward conversation can sometimes be the most effective way to highlight and rectify any safety issues.

Document Everything

If you spot a potential hazard, snap a photo or jot down notes. Keeping a record not only helps validate your concerns but can be crucial if further action is needed.

Consult Your Safety Manual

Familiarize yourself with the company’s safety guidelines and protocols. This can clarify what standards should be met and how to address any deviations.

Engage with Colleagues

Share your concerns with coworkers. They might have noticed the same issues, and there’s strength in numbers when advocating for improved safety conditions.

Safety Committee Involvement

Many workplaces have a safety committee in place. Approach them with your observations and concerns. They’re there to ensure workplace safety standards are upheld.

Know Your Rights

Familiarize yourself with the local and federal safety regulations. Organizations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have guidelines and resources to protect workers. If necessary, you can file a complaint about unsafe conditions.

Seek Legal Counsel

If your concerns go unaddressed or if you face any retaliation for voicing them, consider consulting with a construction site injury attorney experienced in workplace safety issues.

Remember, your safety is paramount. Don’t hesitate to stand up and advocate for a safer workplace. Remember, in many instances, addressing your concerns can lead to a safer environment for all.

Call The Harrison Law Group If You’ve Been in a New York Construction Accident

We don’t stop when we’re tired. We stop when the job is done.

If you’ve been involved in a New York construction accident, you need attorneys with the experience, knowledge, and resources to help you through the legal process.

At The Harrison Law Group, we understand that construction accidents can be traumatic, and we will work closely with you to ensure your rights are protected, and you get the support you need to recover from your injuries.

We will take the time to understand your case, answer your questions, and provide you with guidance and advice every step of the way.

We will not back down from insurance companies or other parties who may be liable for your injuries. Our law firm has been helping clients seek damages for their injuries and restore their lives for over 30 years, and we are here to help you, too.

Call us today at (631) 465-9797 or complete our online contact form for a FREE consultation and strategy session with a construction accident lawyer in New York.

For your convenience, we also offer appointments during evenings and weekends, in person or virtually.

And before you leave, don’t miss out on our FREE personal injury claims quiz. It’s designed to give you an insight into the potential strength of your claim. Click here to get started.

Copyright © 2023. The Harrison Law Group, P.C. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Harrison Law Group, P.C.
445 Broad Hollow Rd., Suite 400
Melville, NY 11747
(631) 465-9797

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