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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx

New York City Launches International Design Competition For A Safer, More Appealing Sidewalk Shed of the Future

Posted On Sep 2, 2009 @ 10:51 AM by SEO Admin

Sidewalk sheds are typically wooden structures (nowadays usually painted blue) built over public space to protect pedestrians during construction activity. Walking around Manhattan while trying to avoid walking under a sidewalk shed can be a true challenge. There are currently more than 6,000 sidewalk sheds installed and in use today at New York Citys buildings and construction sites, spanning more than 1,000,000 linear feet. A lawyer for insurance companies once told me that because he has defended so many cases in which a pedestrian or construction worker was injured due to a collapse or other calamity involving a sidewalk shed, he would never, ever walk under one. Besides, theyre hideous-looking. On August 13, 2009, the Department of Buildings and the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects launched the urbanSHED International Design Competition - a competition to tap the global design community to develop the sidewalk shed of the future.

N.Y.C. Departmentof Buildings Special Enforcement Team Does Its Job - Prevents Potentially Disastrous Hotel Fires

Posted On Aug 26, 2009 @ 01:48 AM by SEO Admin

The N.Y.C. Department of Buildings has suspended the license of Master Electrician Robert Spallinos and fined him $100,000 after determining he installed cheap, illegal wooden parts, instead of the metal, insulated collars required by the Electrical Code, inside the electrical systems of five high-rise hotels in midtown Manhattan. It wasn't an accident - Spallino even painted his wooden "carvings" black in a bid to fool inspectors into thinking they were made of fireproof metal, according to Department of Buildings documents. He used homemade wooden collars to rig wires together -- a potentially deadly fire hazard. The city building code requires that wires pass through a fireproof conduit made of metal collars between floors. The actions taken against Spallino were led by the Departments Special Enforcement Team, a unit of attorneys, plan examiners, inspectors and support staff that identifies professionals, building owners and contractors who blatantly disregard

New Yorks Statutes Aimed at Protecting Construction Workers Held to Apply to Accident on Indian Reservation

Posted On Jul 26, 2009 @ 05:04 PM by SEO Admin

In Alexander v. Hart, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2009 WL 1955556, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 05716 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2009) the plaintiff, a service technician, fell while working on a rooftop heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit at defendants' fitness center on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiffs Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6) claims on the ground that these construction worker safety statutes do not apply on the grounds that (1) the statutes do not apply to accidents that occur on an Indian reservation, (2) since the tribe is the title owner of the land, the individual and corporate defendants are not owners within the meaning of the Labor Law statutes, (3) the plaintiff was engaged in repair work that is not an activity covered by Labor Law 240(1), (4) the plaintiffs work was

NYC Department of Buildings to Share Information About Tower Cranes With Other Cities to Prevent Crane Accidents

Posted On Jun 28, 2009 @ 05:25 PM by SEO Admin

Last year, there were two fatal in New York City, as well as dozens of others throughout the country, including Houston, Las Vegas and MiamiIn an effort to track equipment failures, manufacturers recalls, accidents and industry trends, the New York City Buildings Department recently announced an unprecedented partnership with the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia to share critical data on tower cranes erected within their borders. At present, there are more than 50 active tower cranes in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Under the information-sharing agreement, building officials will share information about the design and operation of active tower cranes, as well as other important details, such as crane equipment failures, manufacturer recalls, operational trends and Tagged with: Construction Accidents Workplace Injury Construction Accident Crane

Can One Appellate Department Be Right and Three Be Wrong? Yes, Says the Court of Appeals When It Comes to Power-Operated Heavy Equipment or Machinery and the Labor Law

Posted On Jun 5, 2009 @ 02:44 PM by SEO Admin

An employee who claims to have suffered injuries proximately caused by a previously identified and unremedied structural defect or unsafe condition affecting an item of power-operated heavy equipment or machinery has stated a cause of action under Labor Law 241(6) based on an alleged violation of 12 NYCRR 23-9.2(a), held the Court of Appeals in Misicki v. Caradonna, --- N.E.2d ----, 2009 WL 1286012 (N.Y.), 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 03764 (May 12, 2009). The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, had been the only one of the four Appellate Divisions to rule that a violation of the rule and regulation promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor regarding the maintenance of Power-0perated Heavy Equipment or Machinery invoked the protections of Labor Law 241(6). The Court of Appeals, however, recently held that it was the Fourth Departmen

Time Running Out on this Years No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program

Posted On May 16, 2009 @ 11:20 AM by SEO Admin

Homeowners have until June 1, 2009 to call 3-1-1 to request an inspection of their retaining walls by a Buildings Inspector without penalty of violation under the New York City Department of Buildings' annual No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program. Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri launched this years program on March 25, 2009. During the inspection, Building Inspectors will conduct visual examinations of retaining walls and record structural conditions such as bulging, displaced material, or leaning of the wall. If repair is needed or violating conditions that are not immediately unsafe are found on walls, the Buildings Department will defer issuing violations until June 1, 2009 to allow property owners time to take corrective action. If immediately-dangerous conditions are found upon inspection, the Buildings Department will take immediate action to force correction of the unsafe condition. Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil that would move

April Brought Us Not Just Showers But Also NYC Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week and the High Risk Construction Oversight Study

Posted On May 4, 2009 @ 09:02 AM by SEO Admin

Last week was the annual construction safety week. The weeks schedule of events included seminars and events that were free of charge and open to the public. The seminars included: Safety Harness Giveaway & Worker Safety Training; How to Identify and Hire a Licensed Contractor; Homeowners' Night: Resolving ECB Violations & Illegal Conversions; Construction, Demolition, & Abatement Operations; How to Obtain the New C-Class Hoisting Operators License; High Risk Construction Study: Cranes - Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Excavations - Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Concrete - Findings & Recommendations; Introduction to the New NYC Construction Codes;

Scaffold Law (Labor Law 240(1)) Held Not Applicable to Lessee Where Window Washer is Injured

Posted On Apr 21, 2009 @ 09:30 AM by SEO Admin

In Ferluckaj v. Goldman Sachs & Co., --- N.E.2d ----, 2009 WL 856304, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 02483(decided April 02, 2009), the Court of Appeals declined to apply New Yorks Scaffold Law (Labor Law 240(1)) to a worker who was injured while cleaning an interior window as part of the preparation of new office space leased by Goldman Sachs & Co. The worker fell off a desk on which she was standing while cleaning the inside of an office building window. The Court found that Goldman did not hire plaintiffs employer to clean the window and that Goldman exercised no control over plaintiffs work. Thus the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division erred in denying Goldmans motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals noted that Labor Law 240(1) by its terms places a duty on contrac

Ever Improving Safety Rules from the NYC Department of Buildings

Posted On Apr 6, 2009 @ 08:22 PM by SEO Admin

The New York City Buildings Department and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri recently announced a series of changes in the way high-risk construction will be regulated and carried out in New York City. These changes are based on 41 recommendations developed during the unprecedented $4 million study of crane, hoist, excavation, and concrete operations launched last year in response to an increase in construction accidents. Crane & Hoist Operations The recommendations related to crane operations and inspections are: 1. Tracking System for Critical Crane Parts. Establish procedures to track critical components of tower cranes, including but not limited to the turntable, a-frame, machine deck, climbing frame, and basi

It All Comes Out in the Wash

Posted On Apr 2, 2009 @ 02:29 AM by SEO Admin

Oftentimes it seems that when the dust settles, accidents that appeared to come out of the blue were in fact wholly predictable because someone tried to cut a corner or save money in the face of a known danger. Such may have been the case in a construction accident when a crane collapsed last May on East 91st Street in Manhattan. It has recently been reported that 10 months before the accident a Chinese company hired to repair a critical component involved in the fatal crane collapse warned the cranes owner that it was concerned that it did not know the proper welding techniques for the damaged bearing ring. Nevertheless, the owner, New York Crane and Equipment Corp., authorized the Chinese company, RTR Bearings, in July 2007 to make the welds on the tower cranes damaged turntable. Why? Apparently because the Chinese company proposed doing the job for $20,000, compared to an Ohio company, Avon Bearings, which said the job

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