New York City is world renowned for its unparalleled concentration of skyscrapers. The New York skyline boasts an unimaginable number of residential buildings, business offices, and government buildings—all crammed into a tiny land area. Where real estate is at a premium, construction projects are confined to cramped work zones where building space is best achieved by reaching higher into the heavens. It is in this environment where New York accident attorneys observe the highest concentration of serious injuries and deaths at construction sites.
For example, a few weeks ago a serious construction accident occurred at 3 World Trade Center in Manhattan. A thirty-six year old construction worker was assisting in the installation of a steel beam at a height of fifteen feet off the ground. For reasons that could not be determined, the worker slipped and fell off the previously installed beam on which he was standing, causing him to suffer extreme injuries that landed him in critical condition. According to reports, the worker sustained serious head trauma as well as two broken arms, likely from his trying to brace his body against the fall. He was quickly rushed to Bellvue Hospital, where he is making a slow recovery.
In an eerily similar incident several weeks before that, another construction worker at 4 World Trade Center slipped and fell from a less frightening height of five feet. The trouble was that at the bottom of this particular five foot drop, a sharp piece of metal was protruding from the ground. The worker was actually impaled on this piece of metal for some time before rescuers were able to come to his aid. This worker, too, is slowly recovering from his injuries.
The lesson in these recent construction accidents is that a construction zone is loaded with potential hazards. Heavy construction materials are constantly being lifted by heavy machinery. Workers’ footholds are constantly changing. People are being asked to lift and manipulate materials and tools. It is an unpredictable workplace in which the proper clothing, hard hats, and eyewear can only offer so much protection. Unfortunately, this is the type of environment where accidents will almost certainly occur.
Says one New York City crane operator: “It’s a lot of stress. I mean you’re hanging off the side of a building. Mentally, you’re constantly looking and constantly trying to pay attention to everything that goes on.” He added, “New York City is a little different than anywhere else. As you can see, it’s congested. You’ve got buildings everywhere; cars everywhere.”
If you or a loved one operates in such an environment and has sustained a serious injury or death on a construction site, you should consider a consultation with an experienced New York injury attorney. The best attorneys are familiar with these types of accidents and with the systems in place to get the best possible compensation for the injury. Accidents happen, but you may be entitled to some money to help pay for medical expenses, prescription drugs, and the time you missed from work.