A 39-year-old construction worker was injured last week when he fell off a ladder at a Brooklyn jobsite. At the time of the construction accident, the man was working below-ground at the Gowanus Canal flushing tunnel. The NY Times reported that the ladder was wet, causing the worker to slip and tumble backwards into the pit of a hole, ultimately landing on his back.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common cause of fatal construction accidents is falls from heights. Construction companies are well aware of the dangers presented by ladders, scaffolding and unmarked drops such as open elevator shafts. New York requires them to follow strict safety procedures to avoid such accidents, but these regulations are frequently ignored in the interest of saving time and money. Tragically, a minor instance of corner-cutting can result in severe injury or death.
Rigger Loses License from Fatal Manhattan Crane Accident
Even though it happened in 2008, most New Yorkers can vividly recall the horrible Manhattan crane accident that killed seven people. The crane collapse was a source of public outrage, as people wondered how such a disaster could occur in a residential neighborhood.
The crane's rigger, William Rapetti, was acquitted of criminal charges for the deaths resulting from the crane collapse, but lost his license in a ruling with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) several weeks ago. The hearing found him unfit to continue rigging in New York, after finding that he took shortcuts in the assembly of the crane, as well as using damaged equipment.
Both the Manhattan crane accident and the Brooklyn ladder-fall demonstrate the need for construction companies to maintain strict safety protocol on New York City jobsites. A simple shortcut can have deadly consequences.
If you or loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a New York construction accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to confidentially discuss all potential avenues for recovering damages. A skilled lawyer can identify when a construction accident may allow for a recovery of damages beyond those obtainable through workers' comp.
Source: The Washington Post, "Rigger loses his license after ruling calls him responsible for deadly NYC crane collapse" July 20, 2011.