Whether employees fall from a scaffold or ladder or simply lose their footing while walking across the job site, slip and fall accidents are unfortunately common on New York construction sites. Injuries from a trip, slip, or fall are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in the construction industry, and can leave a worker with a permanent disability that makes it impossible to provide for his or her family.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries Our New York City Lawyers Handle
After a fall to the ground or a fall to a lower level, an employee has the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for medical costs and income replacement. However, some construction work injuries are so severe that workers’ compensation benefits are simply not enough to make up for their losses. Our New York City slip and fall attorneys can help.
These accidents have been known to cause:
Head injuries: A slip and fall from the same level can cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury, while a fall from a great height can cause a skull fracture or intracranial hemorrhage.
Back injuries: Employees often land on their backs after a sudden slip and fall, resulting in herniated discs or spinal fractures.
Broken bones: Workers can break nearly any bone in a fall, but most commonly suffer fractures to their legs, arms, feet, hands, ribs, and pelvic bones.
Slip and Fall Accidental death: Unfortunately, many construction fall injuries will have deadly consequences. When this happens, the worker’s spouse or children have the right to seek wrongful death compensation from their loved one’s employer—and could potentially have a third-party liability claim against the manufacturer of a ladder or scaffold.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents on New York City Construction Sites
Construction sites are full of slip and fall hazards, and the risk of falls is a daily reality for all construction workers. Since falls from height are likely to be fatal, the New York State Legislature has passed many laws specifically to protect workers from fall injuries on construction sites. If an employer or contractor did not take adequate safety measures to prevent a fall, an injured worker could pursue legal action for his or her medical bills, lost income, and permanent disability. Negligence often results in a slip and fall injury due to:
Overloaded platforms, lack of proper scaffolding or netting, and a failure to secure or anchor ladders are just some of the many ways construction workers can suffer falls while working at height. Under New York’s Scaffold Law, construction workers who have been injured working at elevation may file a negligence lawsuit with our our New York City slip and fall attorneys directly against the general contractor or property owner of the site.
Lack of PPE
New York City Employers are required to pay for and provide personal protective equipment to their construction workers, including harnesses, fall-arrest systems, and other items that can prevent injury during work at height. Ask how our New York City slip and fall attorneys can help.
Hatches, elevator shafts, holes, or platforms should have proper barriers (handrails and guardrails), as well as warning signs posted to alert construction workers of the danger.
Spills and housekeeping violations
Labor Law 241 requires owners and general contractors to keep all passageways and work areas on a job site free of debris and obstructions that could pose a fall hazard. Hazards under this section may include failure to perform snow and ice removal, allowing wood and metal scraps to pile up in corners, failing to discover and remedy leaking fluids from spills or machinery, and allowing clutter to build up near walkways and exits.
Workplace layout and design
General contractors and owners of job sites in New York have a duty to ensure that job sites are arranged in a way that will minimize falls, including placing machinery and materials away from pathways, ensuring surfaces are properly graded, and ensuring new platforms or floors are able to bear a worker’s weight.
If you have been injured on a New York City construction site, our attorneys can get you the compensation you are owed—and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a personal injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or read through our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.