Improper Construction Cleanup and Maintenance Injury Lawyers in New York
A visitor to a New York construction site could encounter stockpiles of concrete, steel, and wood. Forklifts, semi-trailers, and other heavy machinery transport people and materials from one place to another. While some structures are being built, others being torn down create mountains of debris.
Construction workers know that cleaning and maintenance are vital components of a well-run construction project. Those taking the lead must ensure the safety of employees and visitors.
Negligence can have tragic effects. Injured workers could lose their ability to support their families, and some even lose their lives. If a construction accident disrupts your life, it does not have to ruin everything.
At Hill & Moin, it is like having a lawyer in the family. During your free consultation, we will talk about how to make things better for you. Learn about your legal options without obligation by calling us at (212) 668-6000.
How Leadership Quality Impacts Safety?
The responsibility for cleanliness starts at the top of the leadership chain. Sensible construction companies followed practices recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA advises companies to:
- Reassure workers that health and safety are the top priority. Finishing jobs on time is crucial. However, it is more important to work safely, fix hazards, and go home safe and sound every day.
- Set a good example. Supervisors should model safe practices for workers and remain approachable to discuss issues.
- Report injuries, illnesses, hazards, and near misses. Establish easy, anonymous procedures for reporting concerns. Follow guidelines for documenting accidents, injuries, and deaths.
- Train staff to identify and respond to hazards. Post reminders in logical areas, and hold regular refresher meetings.
- Inspect equipment and material on a regular basis. Make a checklist to identify problems or activities that could endanger others.
- Brainstorm. Listen to your workers, who might have worthwhile ideas about improvements.
- Plan for immediate action. Prepare for emergencies now so that you know what to do when they happen.
- Improve. As technology and education improve, look for ways to better your safety program. Learn from mistakes, whether your own or those of other companies.
- Protect your workers. Provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for different duties and monitor its use.
When managers fail to eliminate hazards and train workers well, serious accidents could occur, including:
- Exposure to toxic materials or fumes
- Hazardous material spills
- Medical emergencies
- Structural collapses
Management should take these simple yet effective steps to protect both workers and visitors.
Why Meticulous Cleaning is Vital in Construction?
An untidy project site could lead to all types of accidents and injuries. Instead, cleaning should be proactive, anticipating problems and avoiding them before they hurt someone.
For instance, suppose someone cleans a surface, such as a tank, with a flammable solvent in a woodworking area. Then, when an unsuspecting welder sends a spark into the container, a blaze could erupt before he or she is aware of it.
Fires can also start in an environment cluttered with combustible items. Fire marshals warn of these common hazards:
- Heating elements
- Ignition sources (i.e. welding equipment, portable torches, candles, kettles, space heaters, heat guns, cigarettes)
- Electrical appliances
- Sources of static electricity, including grain elevators, high-speed presses, conveyor belts, and flammable liquid passing through a hose
- Storage and trash containers
- Oily rags, dust, or paper
- Painting areas
- Chemicals and radioactive materials
- Wood shops
- Improperly labeled or stored liquid, especially fuel, acetone, oil, and alcohol
- Unsecured pressure cylinders filled with gas or unseparated reactive gasses
- Blocked or missing vents, firewalls, or drainage systems
The State of New York sets many regulations, such as how you should store, handle, and use combustible materials. Yet, these rules do no good when they go disregarded.
Besides fires, site managers should have routines for avoiding or minimizing the risk of anything that could threaten health and safety, namely these types of hazards:
- Slipping: Water, ice, snow, mud, grease, garbage, food
- Tripping: Electrical wires, cords, cables, hoses, debris, tools, or stores of material, opened drawers or cabinet doors
- Falling: Stairs and walkways blocked by clutter or used as storage areas, materials put away after use
- Falling objects: Wood planks, tools, glass, nails, heavy materials, appliances, ladders
- Cutting, crushing, or malfunctioning: Machinery and workstations dirtied by oil, grease, or dust, unstable furniture (e.g. cabinets filled heavier at the top than the bottom)
- Biological: Contaminated lunch or washroom areas
Understanding the exact reason for an accident is not an easy task. The compassionate legal team at Hill & Moin can investigate your case to determine the cause of your injuries. Send us a message anytime to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
The Vital Role of Maintenance
Even an everyday machine, like an automobile, requires maintenance. If you do not perform routine upkeep, your car could stop working well. Worse, you could get into an accident, injuring yourself and others.
Heavy construction vehicles and machinery like those listed below also require regular and proper maintenance:
- Concrete mixers
- Dump trucks
- Hydraulic cranes
- Steam rollers
OSHA sets the following regulations to prevent severe injuries and death:
- Power tools: All equipment used on a project, whether owned by the employer or employee, should be in a safe condition. Supervisors should ensure that workers use hand tool guards, particularly with items with rotating or moving parts.
- Scaffolds: Scaffolds and their components must be able to bear their own weight plus 4 times the maximum intended load. Direct connections, counterweights, and suspension ropes must meet OSHA standards for strength and support.
- Rigging: Handlers should inspect rigging equipment before each shift. Workers must remove the rigging from the work area when not in use.
- Ladders: Ladder rungs, cleats, and steps must be parallel, level, and spaced evenly at least 10 inches apart. Ladders should meet load-bearing requirements for their type (e.g. self-supporting, fixed, portable).
- Electrical equipment: Employers must ensure wiring components in hazardous locations are housed in a dust-tight, explosion-proof condition with no loose or missing screws, seals, or gaskets.
- Lighting: Construction areas, aisles, stairs, corridors, and other places where work is conducted must have natural or artificial illumination. Maintenance workers should replace burned-out lightbulbs without delay.
This sampling of OSHA regulations demonstrates the information available for company owners who care about their workers. If everyone followed these standards closely, it is likely that fewer cleanup and maintenance accidents would occur.
Understanding the Outcomes of Improper Cleanup and Maintenance
Cleanup and maintenance are not to be taken lightly. In 2020, occupational injuries (such as those associated with exposure to contaminated surfaces, falls, and machinery failures) caused 59 fatalities in New York City.
Those who survive construction accidents could experience dreadful consequences such as:
- Blunt force trauma
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Neck and back pain
- Organ damage
- Respiratory conditions
- Traumatic brain injuries
You might wonder what to do next if you have suffered these or similar work-related health problems. Consulting an attorney can give you an idea of your next move.
Getting Just Compensation for Your Losses
Regardless of the cause, work-related injuries and illnesses can qualify you to receive workers’ compensation in New York. Work comp insurance provides five main benefits:
- Reimbursement for services for the treatment of the job injury or medical condition
- Temporary payments replacing a percentage of lost income
- Compensation for the permanent effects of an injury (i.e. disabilities)
- Death benefits for close relatives in the event of a fatal injury
- Resources to support employees returning to work
Claims are time-sensitive. You could lose your benefits if you cannot complete the process correctly and on time. If you need help filing or the Workers’ Compensation Board denies your claim, contact our law office at your earliest convenience.
Was your injury caused by someone other than your employer or a coworker? You may have multiple legal options. Third-party claims are based on the premise that another party’s negligence led to preventable harm.
In addition to medical bill reimbursement and lost wages, you could recover compensation for:
- Property damage: Personal possessions, such as vehicles, machinery, or buildings that were damaged or destroyed in the incident
- Reduced earning capacity: The loss of the income you could have earned had you not been injured
- Aftercare: Rehabilitation and assistive services if your injury affects your mobility, speech, or other abilities
- Assistance: Hired help for tasks you previously performed (e.g. childcare, lawn services, cleaning)
- Non-economic damages: Physical pain, psychological injuries, and the loss of enjoyment of activities
Are you ready to learn what compensation you deserve? An attorney can determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Seeking Professional Help Makes a Difference
Legal victories do not usually happen by chance. Experienced lawyers use tried-and-true methods to obtain extraordinary results.
Our satisfied clients know that justice is within reach. At Hill & Moin, our Personal Injury Recovery Solutions® have helped many to receive just compensation to secure a better outlook for their future. We work diligently because we know your health and mental well-being are on the line.
Undocumented workers and all other employees can be assured of their workers’ compensation rights. Call (212) 668-6000 today and schedule your free case evaluation to talk about your case with a legal team who cares.
Don’t worry about your rights!