Buildings Department Announces New Citywide Safety Campaign To Encourage Construction Workers To Use Proper Fall Protection

Entitled Experience Is Not Enough, the new multi-lingual campaign is designed to emphasize that all workers must use proper fall protection, such as safety harnesses, guardrails, and netting, regardless of how long they have worked in the construction trades and how much experience they possess. A worker falling is the most common construction related accident in New York City, representing 42% of all accidents reported to the Department in 2010. Since 2008, 16 construction workers have lost their lives due to the lack of basic fall protection. In February, two ironworkers, ages 49 and 51, were killed when they fell … Read the rest

NYC Buildings Department Announces Construction-Related Accidents Dropped By 28% In 2010

On January 11th, 2011, the New York City Buildings Department announced that there was a 28% decrease in construction-related accidents in New York City in 2010 when compared to the previous year.

In 2010, there were 157 reported construction-related accidents compared to 218 in 2009. There were four fatal construction-related accidents in 2010, a 78% decrease when compared to 2008. The total number of reported construction-related injuries also dropped from 241 injuries in 2009 to 165 in 2010, a 31% decrease. All four of the fatal construction-related accidents in 2010 – two in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan – involved … Read the rest

NYC Buildings Department No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program In Progress Until May 31

Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil that would move to a more natural slope or incline if the wall was not in place. Every homeowner is required by law to maintain their walls and their properties in a safe condition at all times. Under the No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program, homeowners may call 311 to request an inspection of their retaining wall without the penalty of violations.

Every once in a while you hear a story in the news about a retaining wall that collapsed on a worker engaged in a construction project on an adjoining property where … Read the rest

Sixth-Annual Construction Safety Week Starts This Monday

The New York City Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week has, since 2005, been a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about safe construction practices. Construction-related fatalities dropped 84% in 2009 when compared to 2008, and these events are a critical way to continue that trend. This year Construction Safety Week will run from April 26 to April 30, 2010.

Events during the week will include construction site visits to discuss safety issues with workers, information seminars to review construction trends and specific operations and community meetings in all five boroughs. This year’s seminars are Maintaining Safety at Stalled … Read the rest

Criminal Charges Against Individuals and Corporations Shed Light on Cause of 2008 Crane Collapse in Manhattan

On March 8, 2010, two individuals and two corporations were indicted on criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and other charges related to the May 30, 2008, crane collapse in New York City that killed two people and seriously injured a third. The indictment describes the callous indifference to safety by the defendants who decided, in an effort to lessen the downtime of and lost rental income from a broken crane, to use a cheaper and quicker means of repair from a Chinese company whose qualifications had not been verified.

The collapse of the crane was caused by the failure of a … Read the rest

Building Owner Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Construction Worker Loses Bid to Suppress Incriminating Statements

On March 12, 2008, the basement foundation wall of a two-story wood-frame residential building located at 795 Glenmore Avenue in Brooklyn collapsed into the construction site on the adjoining parcel at 793 and 791 Glenmore Avenue, causing the death of a construction worker who was working in the excavation site at the time of the collapse. The laborers were digging out the soil for the foundations and underpinnings when the wall collapsed. The owner of both the building and the construction site, William Lattarulo, stands charged with manslaughter in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree.

The … Read the rest

It All Comes Out in the Wash

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 … Read the rest

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

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 … Read the rest

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

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.  fatal crane incidents 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 … Read the rest

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

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, 2008These developments and others make all the more … Read the rest