2024 Construction Safety Law Review By Michael Joseph on February 09, 2024


A Preventable Calamity: Uncovering the Safety Lapses


On February 2, 2024, a construction worker tragically died on a Borough Park Brooklyn construction site, and his pregnant wife suddenly became a widow. The first floor of the two-story building at 1266 50th Street collapsed around 12:10 p.m. trapping three workers. The tranquility of an ordinary day was shattered when the structural integrity of a building caved in, dragging hopes and human lives down into the rubble.  A worker's lifetime of dreams vanquished in an instant, leaving behind a community shrouded in mourning and a trail of unanswered questions.I nvestigations into the calamity unravel a story all too familiar—the deliberate flouting of building safety codes and guidelines. The illegal construction operations emerged as a deathtrap, with the wilfull indifference to the most basic safety measures that are designed to shield construction workers from harm. It's vital to recognize how each ignored procedure contributes to the structural collapse.  Our NYC construction accident lawyers know that if good construction practice is followed, these types of accidents don't happen. New York's Industrial Code requires that when construction work is being done, the structural components of a building need to be braced and shored, such that they don't collapse. 

This incident brings into focus the profound human toll of circumventing safety precautions. The narrative isn't solely about collapsed beams and broken bricks; it features the very real tragedies of workers' families grappling with sudden loss—a loss preventable through compliance with established safety practices.The edicts of organizations like OSHA are more than red tape; they represent a bulwark against the disarray of accidents and fatalities. Yet, the disparity between policy and practice persists, as melancholily showcased in the Brooklyn tragedy. According to the bulding department, this tragedy never should have happened, because in the first place, no permits were filed for the construction and no plans were submitted, and a stop work order was issued on January 4, 2024.  Our New York City construction fatality lawyers know that these types of collapses can only occur if work, usually demolition work is being done without proper bracing, the purpose of which is to prevent this type of a collapse. 

This accident was a clear case of negligence construction practice, poor workmanship and violations of New York's Labor Laws. Those injured and the widow of the construction worker that died can all sue. The widow of the construction worker that died has the right to sue for all of the financial support and services that her husband would have provided throughout the course of his life and for his pre-death pain, suffering and anguish. The injured construction workers can sue for their pain and suffering. 

Crane Collapse in Inwood: Understanding Safety on Construction Sites

As the sun was high on a bustling Tuesday afternoon, the unexpected sound of metal collapsing echoed through the streets of Inwood, Manhattan, halting the heartbeat of the busy neighborhood. At approximately 2:30 p.m., disaster struck at a construction site located at 207th Street and Ninth Avenue when a crane, perched on a truck, failed and plummeted, resulting in injuries to at least five workers.

For those who don hard hats and hi-vis vests, this incident is not just news—it's a grim reminder of the potential dangers inherent in the profession. The question of safety on construction sites surfaces yet again, prompting a necessary reflection on the precautions and preparedness of our construction workers.The collapse was sudden, the aftermath, alarming. Among the five injured workers, one suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, . Their day had started like any other, surrounded by the symphony of construction—a chorus of hammering, drilling, and the steady hum of machinery—until it was disrupted by the sharp cacophony of twisting metal.

The crane, which snapped off from its base, lay amidst the rubble as investigators and emergency personnel rushed to the scene. Scores of workers, in the middle of their daily grind, became instantaneous responders to their colleagues in need.  Our NYC Crane accident lawyers know that these types of accidents don't occur unless there is a defective condition on the crane and New York's Industrial Code requires regular inspections to detect these types of dangerous conditions and to prevent these types of accidents. Every construction worker that was injured in this accident has a lawsuit under New York's Labor Law 241(6).  


On February 13, 20204, residents of Brooklyn's  Borough Park neighborhood were once again exposed to a safety crisis when the New York City Department of Buildings detected an illegal excavation project on thirteenth Avenue. This discovery instantly cast a shadow of concern over the stability of nearby structures, leading to the immediate evacuation of three buildings. These developments were especially alarming as they followed closely on the heels of a fatal building collapse in the same neighborhood, which had claimed the life of a construction worker just weeks prior. Our NYC personal injury lawyers who handle structural collapse cases know how dangerous this situation could have become, if not discovered in time. 


A structural collapse  and cave in of a building at the corner of 1915 Billingsley Terrace in Morris Heights, in the Bronx on December 11, 2023 occurred because of the neglience of an engineer who misidentified a structual load bearing column as non-structural and merely decorative. This engineer accepted a two year suspension and a fine and admitted that he was neglgent in inspecting and identifying structural elements of a building. 

 Unfortunately, construction accidents with fatalities have been on the rise in recent years. In New York City, there were 24 construction accident fatalities, in 2022, which was up 20% from the prior year. One tragic construction fatality occurred when a father of three who was working on the Roosevelt Avenue overpass near Citi Field, stepped through a piece of plywood that gave way and plummeted to the Van Wyck Expressway below, where he was hit by a passing driver. Our NYC construction accident lawyers know that New York's Labor Law 240 and 241 require that when workers are working at an elevated worksite, they must be protected from the effects of gravity and must have firm and secured flooring. 

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

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