Scaffolding accidents in New York City are becoming more and more common as the city undergoes yet another construction boom. Critics say that a lack of oversight and the perceived need by contractors to cut corners in order to meet schedules and budgets has put construction workers at unnecessary risk. Improper fall protection procedures, broken or missing equipment, poor maintenance, and negligence can all lead to deadly or near-deadly scaffolding accidents in New York.
Late last month four construction workers were rehabilitating the windows on the top floor of apartment building in the Flatiron district when the mobile scaffolding they were on broke apart in mid-air. One end of the mechanism completely detached from the rest causing the bottom to drop out from under the men. They were left dangling from safety harnesses, helpless until the FDNY arrived on scene to rescue them. Without those lifesaving harnesses they could have very easily plummeted five stories to the pavement below.
All four men were taken to nearby New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. One of the workers suffered severe head trauma after he was struck by snapped cables as the scaffolding fell.
The Department of Building launched a full investigation of the accident and will look at the readiness of the scaffolding equipment (including inspection logs and any history of repairs) as well as if the equipment was properly deployed.
Falls from heights are one of OSHA “Fatal Five” construction accidents responsible for the deaths of workers at job sites around the country. Scaffolding accidents in New York are one of the leading contributors of on-the-job falls. Workers fall off scaffolding because of a variety of reasons. In this case, the scaffolding itself failed, leaving the workers at the mercy of their safety equipment.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a scaffold for any reason, contact an expert New York City scaffolding accident attorney today to discuss your case. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.