The City’s Department of Buildings (DoB) revoked the license of a registered safety engineer last month in connection with designs he created for sidewalk sheds that could have become potential safety hazards. One of the biggest risks of sidewalk shed accidents in New York City is actually from a faulty design or construction of the shed itself, not actually falling debris from the construction/renovation the shed was erected to buffer. Indeed, the number of pedestrians and motorists injured in New York City when sidewalk sheds fail is staggering.
Several recent high-profile sidewalk shed accidents have left people severely injured, hospitalized for weeks, and facing long-term recovery that includes multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and treatment for mental trauma.
Sidewalk sheds and temporary sidewalk coverings are constructed of steel piping, plywood, and various other materials to protect individuals passing along sidewalks. Often these are erected adjacent to construction and renovations sites or near buildings that have defective masonry in order to prevent building façade accidents in New York. However, when improperly designed, built, and maintained, sidewalk sheds can themselves become the hazard-shedding pieces of steel, plywood, and even collapsing entirely.
Just last month a woman was severely injured when a piece of plywood blew free and struck her.
As part of its ramped-up inspection plan, the Department of Buildings audited sidewalk shed designs created by Professional Engineer Paul Bailey last month. The investigators discovered major code non-compliances, including insufficient structural design, within the plans. DoB asked for (and received) Bailey’s Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges. This effectively took away the engineer’s ability to work as a safety professional.
There was no word from the DoB whether or not any sidewalk shed currently in existence was designed by Bailey or if any of those sheds were improperly designed.
If you’ve been hurt by a defective sidewalk shed, you need to speak with an experienced temporary sidewalk accident attorney in New York City today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.