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

Indictments in Fatal New York City Crane Collapse and Deutsche Bank Fire

Posted On Jan 10, 2009 @ 11:58 PM by Ira Slavit

On January 5, 2009, the master rigger involved in the 200-ft-high tower crane that collapsed at a Midtown high-rise site March 15, 2008, killing six workers and a civilian, was indicted on multiple charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and reckless endangerment. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau also said William Rapetti and his firm Rapetti Rigging Services Inc., Massapequa Park, N.Y., failed to file tax returns for 2006 and 2007. The following day, another contractor official at the troubled Deutsche Bank asbestos-abatement and demolition site near Ground Zero was indicted in connection with a 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank Building that trapped and killed two city firefighters.

OSHA Random Inspections Reveal That Fall Hazards Are The Biggest Safety Problem at New York City Construction Sites

Posted On Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:40 AM by SEO Admin

The federal government says that the hazards of falling are the biggest safety problem at New York City construction sites after random inspections during a two-week enhanced enforcement effort this past summer. As part of its New York City construction safety task force, OSHA detailed 12 inspectors to conduct 96 safety inspections at 46 construction sites throughout the city from June 23 to July 3. The sites were randomly selected to encompass a cross-section of high-risk construction activities including tower cranes, high-rise construction, poured-in-place concrete operations, steel erection, gut-rehab and other high-risk construction activities. Citations were issued to 60 contractors for 129 violations with a total of $247,400 in proposed fines after inspecting 46 sites in June and July. The major categories of violations cited included fall hazards (39 - nearly a third of the violations), electrical safety (29), scaffolds (17), cranes and rigging (13), welding/

Indictments and Repercussions Flowing From the Two Fatal Crane Collapses In New York City Earlier This Year

Posted On Oct 13, 2008 @ 04:53 PM by SEO Admin

The safety of New Yorkers working at or living near construction sites has remained paramount following the crane collapses this past March and May that killed a total of 9 people. Stemming partly from corruption allegations that were first disclosed in the summer when the citys acting chief crane inspector was arrested on charges of receiving bribes, the New York City Buildings Department announced on October 6, 2008, that it was overhauling its procedures on how the city issues licenses to some crane operators. The city said that the written and practical tests for lower-level mobile crane operators licenses (called Class C Hoist Machine Operator licenses) will be given by a nationally accredited nonprofit group, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, instead of the Buil

An Analysis of Crane-Related Deaths at Construction Sites and Recommendations for Their Prevention

Posted On Aug 30, 2008 @ 10:28 AM by SEO Admin

The New York City crane collapses of March 15, 2008, and May 30, 2008, and the collapse of a 20-foot crane section in Miami that fell 30 stories, killing two construction workers and injuring five, set off an alarm within the construction community and city dwellers. An in-depth report on U.S. crane fatalities made by The Center for Construction Research and Training in response to these incidents found the number of crane-related deaths among construction workers is significant, with an average of 22 workers killed annually. The reports findings, released this past June, used Bureau of Labor Statistics worker fatality data from 1992 to 2006 on construction workers: the numbers and causes of death, the trades of workers involved, the size of employers, and types of cranes involved. The CPWRs website advises that the report will undergo a revision with new data in the near future. A total of 323 construction worker deaths involving 307 crane incidents were identi

Fire Department Report of Fatal Deutsche Bank Fire Blames NYC Fire and Buildings Departments and the Buildings Contractor

Posted On Aug 25, 2008 @ 01:22 AM by SEO Admin

Two firefighters, Robert Beddia, 53, and Joseph Graffagnino, 33, died in the fire that broke out from a discarded cigarette butt in the former Deutsche Bank building fire of August 18th, 2007 during the demolition of the building. After the death of a firefighter, the Fire Department always empanels a team to study any problems that might have contributed to the death. A 176-page report written by safety chiefs investigating the blaze was made public this past Thursday, August 21st. A grand jury investigating the blaze is expected to issue indictments next month. Among the findings and recommendations made were the following: FDNY had not been conducting mandatory 15-day inspections of the site which may have lead to firefighters being unaware of the broken standpipe and other safety hazards like sealed stairwells and busted sprinklers. Thre

Rise In Construction Fatalities In New York City Prompts Aggressive Action by OSHA

Posted On Jul 31, 2008 @ 02:09 PM by SEO Admin

Beginning June 23, 2008, OSHA brought a dozen additional inspectors into New York City to conduct proactive inspections of high-rise construction sites, cranes, and other places, where fatalities and serious accidents have been occurring. In January through June of this year, 20 employees died in construction-related accidents. Perhaps the most notorious incidents involved the 2 crane collapses, one on March 10 and the other on May 30, in which not only employees were killed, but also non-workers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time were killed or injured, to say nothing about the extensive property damage sustained. In addition, ongoing inspections will continue under existing local emphasis programs or as a result of complaints, referrals or accidents. OSHA will review its findings to gauge the impact of these additional inspections and determine what other steps might need to be taken to address this deadly trend. In addition to enforcement activities,

Federal Laws and Regulations Underutilized to Protect Workers' Safety at Construction Sites

Posted On Jul 12, 2008 @ 09:53 AM by Ira Slavit

The weakness of current federal laws dedicated to protecting workers safety has been criticized twice in less than one month on the op-ed page of The New York Times in the aftermath of crane collapses that occurred in Manhattan on March 15 and May 30, 2008 . On May 27, 2008, David M. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote an article pressing for giving the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the primary federal worker-safety law in the United States, more powerful, even criminal, enforcement penalties. On June 12, 2008, Susan Podziba, a public policy mediator, wrote in The Times that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been sitting on crane-safety regulations that could prevent more deaths. Nationally, 72 workers in 2006, the most recent year for whic

A New Fire Code and an Improved Building Code For New York City Effective July 1, 2008

Posted On Jun 27, 2008 @ 09:29 AM by SEO Admin

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has signed legislation establishing a new Fire Code for the City of New York, effective July 1, 2008. It is the first comprehensive revision since the City's Fire Code was adopted in 1913. The Fire Code, enforced by the Fire Department, governs emergency preparedness and planning and more specifically the permit and inspection process for the use of building safety systems such as sprinklers, fire detectors and extinguishers. The new fire code improves public and emergency responder safety by establishing new permit requirements, requiring more detailed fire and safety evacuation plans, requiring a fire safety program and manager on construction sites, clarifying the existing requirement that fire safety systems in temporarily unoccupied buildings be maintained, providing for rooftop access and elimination of rooftop obstructions, and regulating toxic and other hazardous materials. The C

Protest and Crane Dismantling Latest Developments Highlight Critical Importance of NYC's Proposed Legislation To Increase Construction Site Safety

Posted On Jun 22, 2008 @ 06:19 PM by SEO Admin

Families of the firefighters who died in last summer's fire at the former Deutsche Bank building held a demonstration at the Manhattan site yesterday morning to call for construction site safety and reform throughout New York City. Meanwhile, a Kodiak crane owned by New York Crane at a Washington Street construction site is being dismantled after inspectors found two cracks in the turntable of the tower crane. Kodiak cranes owned by New York Crane were involved in fatal crane collapses that occurred on March 15, 2008, and May 30, 2008. These developments and others make all the more critical passage of the aggressive legislative agenda that will equip the Buildings Department with additional oversight

From Cranes to Window Washers to Trenches, Construction Accidents Roil New York City

Posted On Jun 15, 2008 @ 02:07 AM by SEO Admin

It seems that troubling news regarding the construction industry and construction accidents in New York City are heard on a daily basis. 15 people in construction-related accidents have been killed in the city so far this year, compared with 12 in all of 2007. After the second of two recent crane collapses within 12 weeks of each other during which period the city held its 4th annual Construction Safety Week, a window into the world of New York City Buildings Department crane inspections and inspectors has been opened. Nine people, all but one of them construction workers, died in the two crane collapses. CRANE: On June 6, 2008, James Delayo, the Buildings Department chief inspector for hoist and rigging in charge of overseeing the i

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