One of the most dangerous industries for employees is construction. On Monday, April 8, this proved to be tragically true when a construction worker was killed by a building stone that fell and his head. Nelson Salinas, a 51-year-old construction worker from Queens was on a scaffold repairing the façade of a residential building on the Upper East Side when the incident occurred. Salinas was rushed to the hospital after a
noticed him hanging in mid-air, from the scaffold, with his head covered in blood and called 911. Unfortunately, Salinas could not be saved.
Salinas was an employee of Vlad Restoration. He was performing repair work while standing on a scaffold that was hanging at the 7th floor of the 14-floor building when a stone from the top of the building fell on his head. It is believed that the stone (said to be a piece of the building’s parapet) was knocked loose by equipment that was being used to secure the scaffolding to the building’s façade.
The Responsibility of the Property Owner and General Contractor to Prevent Height Related Injuries.
While this story is certainly a real tragedy, it is unfortunately an all to uncommon tale n New York City when workers are located on suspended platforms or scaffolds. Under New York’s Labor Law, the building owner and the general contractor in charge of the work are responsible to ensure that the all workers are adequately trained to know how to work on platforms and scaffolds and that the proper safety feature and devises are in place. This is done to minimize the injuries that result when workers themselves fall from heights or when objects fall onto workers.
Why the Law Holds Owners and General Contractors Responsible for Preventing Falls from Heights
Fortunately, the legislature realized long ago that the individual workers present at the typical NYC worksite were not in a potion to control all of the different trades working at the site or to request that specific safety measures be taken before they perform work at heights. There are often many different construction trades present at a work site, who work at different locations, heights and times. Individual workers can’t require all of the other workers to follow safety rules. Only the property owner or general contractor have that ability and power. Therefore the legislature decided that the property owner and the general contractor it hires to plan, oversee and coordinate the construction work should have the ultimate responsibility for taking safety measures to prevent workers from being injured by falls from heights.
Strict Liability for Owners and General Contractors for Injuries Due to Falls.
If a worker is inured as the result of the property owner’s and/or general contractor’s failure to provide the proper safety equipment or training, they may be strictly liable to pay the injured worker for all of his related injuries including: medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Katter Law Firm Helps Those Who Have Been Injured in an Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident due to a preventable safety issue, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. The Katter Law Firm has successfully revered money compensation for our clients who were injured due to falls from heights at construction sights, No one should suffer due to the mistakes of others. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, visit us online or call us at 212-809-4293 today!