In a recent Manhattan construction accident, a 51-year old worker was killed while suspended on a scaffold 7 stories from the ground. While working on the 14-story Upper East Side residential building, a heavy stone slab known as a coping stone was dislodged above him. The stone hit the worker on the head and, although he was rescued from the scaffold by firefighters, he later died at a hospital.
Coping stones are flat stones that cap a wall. The workers were part of a project to repair the building’s exterior façade. The building itself was damaged in 2008 when a crane collapsed at the construction site next door. That accident killed 6 construction workers and one other individual.
At this time, it is unknown whether the deceased worker had been wearing a harness or a hard hat. A second worker who had been on the scaffold with the victim was unharmed.
The NYC Department of Buildings will investigate the cause of the accident to determine liability and what the building company did right or wrong. Also, shortly after the accident, the Fire Department requested a building inspection, commenting that site conditions endangered workers.
Scaffolding Accidents Are Common in Construction Industry
When construction workers and materials need to be elevated, scaffolds are the go-to equipment. But working on or near scaffolds is risky, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost 30% of workplace fatalities from falls involve scaffolding or ladders. Each year, scaffolding accidents cause more than 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries.
In addition to falling objects striking workers on scaffolds, as in the Upper East Side incident, scaffolding accidents can be caused by:
· Damaged or defective equipment that causes the scaffolding support to give way
· Improper assembly of the scaffolding
· Improper placement of scaffolds too close to power or utility lines
· Slippery surfaces or an unsafe incline that may cause slipping or tripping
· Missing guardrails
· Not wearing a safety harness
· Inadequate training
Because scaffolding is, of course, at a significant height, injuries from accidents are often severe or deadly. Common injuries include spinal cord trauma and paralysis, traumatic brain injury (TBI), fractures, lacerations and internal trauma.
Workers’ Compensation may not always cover the true cost of an accident, including lost wages, current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and diminished earning capacity due to permanent injuries. Our experienced New York personal injury attorneys can help file claims against those responsible for a workplace accident to recover additional compensation.
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If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product, car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.