Excavation and Demolition Work At Construction Sites Explained
What Actually Is Excavation And Demolition Work?
Excavation is referred to digging or basically removing of grounds. Demolition is taking down any type of structure. It can apply to interior demolition where you are removing walls within a structure; it can apply to removing of the whole structure itself or knocking down the whole structure. Excavation can also refer to digging a foundation of a new property such as a large building where you have to excavate down a certain number of feet for the foundation to be poured.
Excavation is usually the preparation activity for a larger construction project. Excavation can also apply to anything including digging holes for the laying of pipes or laying of electrical wire. Most commonly, excavation is seen in projects where they are doing new plumbing. For example, if they are running a new plumbing line from a main supply or a main sewer to a property. Other common cases seen a lot of times are excavation even when there are new developments especially in Westchester and Rockland County. These areas have large scale community developments or subdivisions, there is a lot of planting that goes on, and so you see a lot of excavation even just for planting new trees in the development to give it a certain look and feel. That is because they are ancillary or related to the construction project; they are all covered under the same labor laws of any other construction worker.
With this type of work, construction workers are often working with big machines and some serious construction type of works, which can result in serious accidents and severe injuries, even fatalities, should an accident occur. A lot of times, our Manhattan construction accident lawyers will be handle any type of excavation accident ranging from a small excavating machine such as a bobcat, to a large excavating machine or excavator, which is really moving tons and tons of dirt and includes bulldozers too. Whenever you have these types of machines, there are a lot of very specific regulations concerning how they are used. A lot of times, these excavators or excavation machinery are used for carrying of materials around different parts of the job sites. It is not uncommon to see the claw or bucket of excavation machines being used to lift up loads of material, pallets or even stone and then being brought from place to place on a construction site.
Different types of excavation machinery are involved in these construction projects not only just for digging, but also for moving materials from one place to another. Under Labor Law 241, there is are alot of regulations instituted by the industrial board of appeals. They are covered under different sections such as guarding the power driven machinery and excavation operations.
A lot of these operations have specific regulations which are meant to protect people working around these types of equipment. For example, the New York Industrial Regulations require that certain power driven machinery be guarded so that people working around it do not get snagged by moving pieces of machinery. They also require that any existing known lines, such as electrical lines in the ground, be marked so that if someone is digging, they do not hit an electrical line and electrocute themselves. This is common with an excavator, therefore the line has to be marked so people know where different lines are so that if it strikes a buried electrical wire, they can get pretty seriously injured. That is one of the reasons these regulations are put in place.
Additionally with excavation machinery, there are requirements that only the excavation crew be within a certain range of the bucket or boom. A lot of the old time practice is that certain shortcuts were followed like lighting on the excavator or buckets and they are now strictly outlawed. Taking another example, one of the regulations prohibits people from working in any areas where they could be struck or endangered by the excavation equipment or even where they could be hurt by material falling or dislodged from the equipment. Typically, the New York Industrial Rules also require that when the motor is not being used, the motor essentially be disengaged or that the safety be activated, which prevents the hydraulics from flowing and essentially shuts down the machine, to prevent people from being injured by the unintentional or accidental movement of the excavation equipment.
Typically with demolition, our New York Construction accident lawyers see a lot of heavy machinery being used. There are a lot of regulations on how this type of work has to be done. For example, anytime you have a swinging weight attached to a line of either a crane or a bucket, there are a lot of very specific regulations in place. For instance, walls or other parts of the building cannot be left unsupported or unguarded where they are going to fall or collapse. They could weaken by pressure or vibration, meaning surrounding the area. Also, wherever there is swing weights used in demolition, there has to be a zone of demolition of one-and-a-half times the height of the building. This makes sure that the things that are falling do not injure people around them. Also, the swing of the weight itself has to be restrained to such a degree that it cannot swing past the radius and or strike another building.
Moreover, whenever you have a clamshell bucket being used in demolition, there has to be about twenty-five foot zone on each area with the travel of the bucket so that someone cannot accidentally be hurt or hit by this thing. One of the other regulations basically requires that only the people who are involved in the actual demolition can be within the demolition zone at the time the demolition operations are progressing. Basically, that is meant to keep people who are not essential in performing the work of the demolition away from the demolition area. This also protects them from being hurt from falling debris.
If you need information regarding Excavation and Demolition Work at Construction Sites in New York, call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (212) 858-0503 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.