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Work stop order issued after worker death in Manhattan

A construction worker has died at a Manhattan construction site that has numerous open violations. The site, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Midtown, was undergoing façade restoration work when the worker fell 13 stories to his death from a ledge at penthouse level onto a sidewalk shed. He was not wearing a harness.

The construction site has 41 open violations, including six for work without a permit. The violations also include a failure to report an accident, no daily inspection of scaffolding, and a failure to safeguard persons, provide protections, or provide guardrails. The city has issued a full stop work order.

NYC safety protocols and oversight

The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible not only for enforcing construction codes, zoning resolutions and the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law, but also for taking aggressive measures to halt illegal activity that endangers construction workers and the public across the five boroughs. Some DOB oversight responsibilities include:

  • Review and approval of building plans

  • Licensing

  • Inspections

The DOB promotes worker safety on construction sites through inspections, the enforcement of regulations and site safety training requirements that workers complete OSHA 10 training within five years of current employment. These regulations provide worker oversight for many areas of construction:

  • Demolitions and pre-demolitions

  • Concrete work

  • Abatements

  • Excavations

  • Scaffolding work

  • High- and low-rise buildings

When a worksite has unsafe working conditions, the DOB may issue a partial or full stop work order (SWO) until the construction manager takes the necessary measures to remove the unsafe work conditions. The SWO remains in effect until the responsible parties correct all violating conditions.

Seeking compensation after a catastrophic accident

When a worker has suffered serious injury on the job, workers’ compensation (WC) in New York has many basic protections that include medical expenses, wage replacement, or death benefits. However, there are limits to how much a worker can receive, as WC also shields the employer from being sued for negligence by their employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with protecting workers in all fields by creating a standard for safe working conditions in the workplace. When contractors or managers violate OSHA regulations that are there to provide safety and hazard prevention, they are subject to serious penalties which can include fines license revocation.

If the injury was a direct result of unsafe working conditions, it is possible to file a construction injury claim that would seek to prove negligence on the part of the employer, contractor, or on-site project manager. It will help to look at all options when seeking compensation after a serious injury.

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