NYC Department of Buildings Announces Construction Site Accident Statistics for 2009

New York City Buildings Commissioner announced an 84% decrease in fatal construction-related accidents in New York City in 2009 when compared to the previous year. However, the total number of construction-related accidents and injuries rose in 2009. The Department attributes the increase primarily to more accident reporting by industry members.

The total number of reported construction accidents rose from 151 in 2008 to 224 in 2009, and the total number of reported injuries rose from 178 in 2008 to 246 in 2009. The Department also headed-off a conclusion that the decrease in fatal construction-related accidents was due to reduced construction … Read the rest

Court of Appeals Broadens Construction Worker Safety Statute to Apply Where Worker Neither Fell Nor Was Struck By Falling Object

There is a line of cases requiring that a construction worker either fall or be struck by a falling object in order for there to be considered a gravity-related risk so as to invoke the absolute liability provisions of Labor Law 240(1) (New Yorks Scaffold Law). No more. In Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, Inc., — N.E.2d —-, 2009 WL 4840213 (decided December 17, 2009), the worker did not fall. Nor was he struck by a falling object. Instead,the worker was injured because a makeshift counterweight system proved insufficient to control the force gravity exerted upon an 800-pound reel … Read the rest

Salomon Recalls Ski Bindings Due to Unexpected Release, Fall Hazard Would Be Liable Notwithstanding Skiers Waiver or Release

With the onslaught of cold weather and the forecast for snow, one feels the urge to hit the ski slopes. One of the most trustworthy names in ski bindings for many, many years is Salomon. But last month the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Salomon, announced a voluntary recall of about 10,000 alpine ski bindings and directed consumers to stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The manufacturer has received two reports of injuries, including a broken leg and a knee injury. The hazard is that the toe component of the ski bindings could fail to … Read the rest

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Dallas Cowboy Roof Collapse; Low Scoreboard OK for this Season

A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant paralyzed and a special team’s coach whose neck was broken in the May 2, 2009, collapse of the team’s practice facility due to high winds filed separate lawsuits against the Pennsylvania-based company that built the structure and several other companies involved in the construction and maintenance.

Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down and 11 others were injured when the structure was toppled in high winds. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillas suffered a broken neck in the collapse. Summit Structures, the company that built the practice facility. Summit, an engineer, and … Read the rest

Enough is Enough: Federal Suit Demands New York City Housing Authority Fix Its Elevators

A lawsuit was filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 21, 2009 to force the New York City Housing Authority to repair and maintain its more than 3,300 elevators. The lawsuit cites numerous occasions when NYCHA buildings are completely without elevator service. The lawsuit also describes instances when these buildings have only one working elevator, leaving residents waiting in long lines to use the functioning car. Other frequent malfunctions cited include elevator doors without sensors, elevators which fail to stop at particular floors, or which stop above or below floor level, making … Read the rest

Scaffold Accident at the former Deutsche Bank Building in NYC Comes Just Days After Fatal Fire

Two firefighters were injured Thursday, August 23rd, 2007, when a forklift fell from scaffolding and crashed into a shed at the former Deutsche Bank building in Manhattan. Both firefighters were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Sources said both of the firefighters sustained serious head injuries.

Fire officials said a tool fell off the scaffold and landed atop a sidewalk shed that the firefighters were standing under. The force of the impact caused a helmet one of the firefighters was wearing to crack. The fire department said that a construction worker entered an elevator at the work site at about 2 … Read the rest

Are There Dark Days Ahead for Con Edison?

It was an ordinary workday for most on July 18th, 2007, when suddenly a loud explosion was heard by New Yorkers in the Grand Central Station area and the ground felt like it was shaking. Immediately police, fire and utility officials fled to the area around the blast, which according to Con Edison left behind a crater that was 25 feet wide and 15 feet deep.

The blast occurred at around 6PM and is currently said to have been caused by a steam explosion. As of now there has been one confirmed death due to this incident. Specifically, Mayor Bloomberg … Read the rest

Tragic Drowning of 3-year old Spurs Legislation to Require Alarms on All Pools

Every year, about 260 children under the age of five die from drowning in swimming pools. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14, with motor vehicle accidents being the first. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that most children who drown are found after about 10 minutes of being submerged. Children usually lose consciousness after being under water for only two minutes and irreversible damage to the brain often occurs after approximately four to six minutes of being under water. There are currently no national laws governing the safety of pools.

In December of … Read the rest