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

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

Toughen the Federal Worker-Safety Law: Make It a Crime

Posted On Jun 2, 2008 @ 03:35 PM by SEO Admin

Although it is certainly too early to cast blame, if any, for this past Friday's fatal crane collapse on the East Side, with the Manhattan district attorneys office having opened a criminal investigation into the collapse, the death and injuries sustained in the accident is perhaps just the lastest example of why the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the primary federal worker-safety law in the United States, is in need of more powerful enforcement penalties. So cogently argues David M. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, in a recent New York Times op-ed article. About 6,000 workers are killed on the job each year, many in cases where the deaths could have been prevented if their employers followed the law. The Manhattan district attorneys criminal investigation is apparently focusing on whether a rotating apparatus, o

The Crane Brethren

Posted On May 31, 2008 @ 03:22 AM by SEO Admin

Yesterday our office received a call from a client involved in the March 15, 2008, collapse of a crane at a construction project on East 51st Street in Manhattan. The news that another crane had collapsed when the top of the crane on an East 91st Street construction site had snapped off, crashed into a building across the street and killed two construction workers had hit our client personally; he had received a telephone call from a crane operator that he knew from his work that identified the crane operator who died in the latest collapse as a friend of our client. Our client felt like he had lost a member of his family. The dead workers were identified at Donald Leo, 30, of Staten Island, and Ramadan Kurtaj, 27, of The Bronx. A third worker, Simeon Alexis, had his "chest slashed open" and remained hospitalized today. Investigators are focusi

New York City Holds 4th Annual Construction Safety Week

Posted On May 5, 2008 @ 04:50 PM by SEO Admin

Last week, April 28 - May 2, 2008, was New York Citys 4th annual Construction Safety Week, the purpose of which is to "advance safe construction practices. Seminars were offered in topics such as Scaffold Safety: Keeping Workers Safe on the Job, (held by the NYC Department of Buildings in conjunction with the Latin American Workers Project), Performing Safe Excavations, Safety First: Urban Demolition, Crane Safety: New Regulations You Must Know and Safe Concrete Operations, Design, Methods and Regulations. The previous week saw Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster resign her position at the Department of Buildings. She admitted to the City Council that the plans for a 43 story tower in Turtle Bay, Manhattan, where a crane collapsed on March 15, 2008, did not me

Construction Accidents: What's Up With the Cranes?

Posted On Apr 14, 2008 @ 10:14 PM by SEO Admin

Apparently it's not sufficient that an inspector makes a phantom inspection of a Manhattan construction site crane that subsequently collapses, killing 7 people, injuring another 24 people, destroying a building, and causing untold other horrors. An investigation by New York State's inspector general has found that a Crane Operator Examining Board examiner issued more than 200 improper certificates to operators even though they had failed their practical exams. Examiner Frank Fazzio even improperly issued himself a crane certificate. He has been removed from the Crane Board. The investigation was prompted by an allegation that certificates were being unfairly denied to non-union crane operators. The inspector general's office found that state labor officials were notified about 42 improperly issued crane certificates in 2004, but failed to act. Als

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