Construction Accidents Are More Common Than Perceived. Did you or someone you know suffer an injury while passing by a construction site? Recent reports indicate that construction accidents are more common than perceived, occurring at a rate of at least once a month on average in New York City. These accidents may be the result of inexperienced or negligent contractors, poorly trained workers or other factors.
Construction sites should have every safety measure in place to protect passersby; however, this is, unfortunately, not always the case.
Our firm is investigating potential lawsuits involving injuries associated with construction accidents. If you or someone you know was injured due to a construction accident, contact Parker Waichman LLP today.
Construction Accidents Regularly Injure Passersby in New York City
In April 2015, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that a New York City passerby is injured near a construction site on an average of at least once monthly. These injuries encompass a wide range of incidents, from falling bricks, hammers, and glass to windblown fences and collapsing sidewalk sheds. A WSJ analysis of the city’s Department of Building records indicates that 96 construction accidents involving pedestrians and other passersby in NYC occurred between 2008 and 2014. These accidents, more than three-quarters of which took place in Manhattan, resulted in 155 injuries. WSJ reported the following figures:
- Tools and materials: 41 accidents and 61 injuries
- Falling bricks: 26 injuries
- Falling debris: 9 injuries
- Wood posts, planking, or plywood: 6 injuries
- Loads of wet concrete poured down on passersby: 5 injuries
- Falling Glass: 9 accidents, 12 injuries
- Fences, Sheds, Gates: 32 accidents, 47 injuries
- Blown or fallen fences: 23 injuries in 16 accidents
- Sheds: 15 injuries in 8 accidents
“I am always looking up,” said Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer, according to WSJ. “People should feel safe when they are walking on sidewalks, and they should not have to be looking up for random objects from above.”
While the Department of Buildings keeps records on the number of construction accidents each month, the Department does not break out those accidents that cause injuries to bystanders. WSJ created a separate list of injuries to passersby; most involved pedestrians, but a few involved drivers or passengers in cars who were injured by falling debris or other construction materials. The WSJ report found that 18 construction accidents involving bystanders were reported in 2014. This is highest number of any year since New York City began tracking accident details in 2008. The accidents resulted in 22 people being injured; the third highest annual total on record, according to WSJ.
WSJ also reported that, on 16 occasions, fences were blown over or fell or struck New Yorkers in some manner. These accidents are very similar to an event that killed a woman in Greenwich Village, New York; the real-estate agent was killed when struck by a sheet of plywood on a construction fence at a condominium development along West 12th street.
The Wall Street Journal points out that the statistics do not account for incidents in which objects fell and happened to not hit anyone. For instance, glass or plexiglass fell from a 1,000-foot-tall luxury hotel and tower under construction on West 57th street three times in less than a year. No injuries were reported in those cases.
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