What Constitutes As Inadequate Security In A Construction Site?

Inadequate Security In A Construction SiteConstruction work is a dangerous business, and Manhattan construction workers face many hazards. You operate under treacherous conditions on any given day, such as working several feet off the ground, removing hazardous substances, and driving heavy machinery.

These conditions come with the territory. Most of the time, property owners and general contractors take many precautions to ensure workers have a safe environment in which to work. However, accidents can and do still happen at construction sites.

Manhattan Construction Accidents

The NYC Department of Buildings received 243 construction-related accident reports in Manhattan in 2022. These reports, filed by contractors or people in charge of building sites, represent incidents that resulted in an injury or fatality. Local Law 78 of 2017 mandates that property owners or other responsible parties must report these incidents to the New York DOB within three business days.

Manhattan had, by far, the most construction accidents of the five boroughs in 2022. (Brooklyn was in second place with 140.) Sadly, these accidents resulted in 255 injuries and one fatality.

What Causes Construction Site Accidents?

Many factors can lead to an accident on a construction site. Some of the reasons listed on the DOB reports include the following:

  • Falling materials
  • Excavation or soil work
  • Failure or misuse of construction equipment
  • Employee falling due to failed safety equipment or inattention
  • Construction equipment misuse or failure

Common Construction Site Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of death in construction accidents. They account for more than one in three industry fatalities.

Other common hazards construction workers experience on the job are:

  • Heavy machinery or equipment accidents
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions or fires
  • Building and trench collapses
  • Crush hazards

Keeping Construction Employees Safe at Work

New York has many laws in place to protect the safety of construction workers. Here are a few highlights.

Site Safety Managers and Coordinators

NYC Building Code 3301.3 states that construction sites must have a site safety manager or safety coordinator designated and present during the demolition or construction of a major building. The law further requires a construction superintendent to be present at other construction or demolition sites.

Worksite Attendance Records

Local Law 196 of 2017 mandates that contractors must keep logs of everyone who accesses the work site. These logs must record workers, safety personnel, security guards and anyone else present. Furthermore, anyone who has access must have the proper safety training.

Required Safety Training Hours

Local Law 196 of 2017 also states that construction workers at major sites must have completed Site Safety Training. As of 2020, workers at sites that require a designated construction superintendent, site safety manager, or site safety coordinator must have at least 40 hours of training. Supervisors require 62 hours of Site Safety Training.

Inspections

New York City Building Code 3301.4 requires inspecting every structure, temporary construction, equipment and operation. Inspection must happen at the beginning and regular intervals throughout the job duration.

Unsafe Equipment and Conditions

Responsible parties must remove any equipment, structure or operation deemed unsafe or defective. This step ensures the safety of the public as well as site workers.

Site Maintenance

NYC Building Code 3303 outlines the requirements for site safety and maintenance. They include safety procedures for factors such as:

  • Water supply
  • Fire prevention
  • Material and debris removal
  • Daily housekeeping to clear debris from floors, working decks and roofs

Required Security at a Construction Site

New York City Building Code 3303 also requires sites larger than 5,000 square feet to have a watch person on duty when operations are not in progress. The person must have a security guard registration on file with the state of New York.

The watch person must also have a fire guard certificate from the fire department and understand emergency notification procedures for the fire department. In addition, the watch person must complete the required safety training if the site is for a major building.

The law requires another watch person for each additional 40,000 square feet. In sites that require more than one watch person, the commissioner can approve a reduction if responsible parties meet certain conditions. These conditions include video monitoring, alarm system, or continuous line of sight through the building.

Why Do Construction Sites Need Security?

Demolition and construction sites are susceptible to security breaches. They exist out in the open or have multiple entrances. In an unsecured area, partially constructed buildings, equipment and supplies are vulnerable to vandalism, theft and mischief.

Without adequate security, thieves or vandals can enter the site after hours. They can put themselves at risk by climbing on scaffolding, heavy equipment or piles of building materials. They can also make job site conditions unsafe for workers and the public. They can do so by creating debris, breaking locks or fences, tampering with lighting, starting a fire, or doing any other damage they may think of.

Security Measures for Construction Sites

Other than the required after-hours watch personnel, additional security measures for construction sites can assist with the safety of workers and the public. Examples include the following:

  • Security fencing around the site perimeter
  • Solid and high-quality locks on gates
  • Good lighting at night
  • Warning signs
  • Locked equipment, oil and gas tanks, and expensive building materials

Who Is Responsible for Construction Site Safety and Security?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration law states that employers are responsible for worker safety. Employers must provide conditions that include:

  • A work site that complies with OSHA standards and is free from recognizable hazards
  • Safe equipment and tools
  • Color-coded signage
  • Safety training
  • Records of work-related injuries and incidents

Employees have the responsibility of adhering to OSHA laws, regulations and practices.

Penalties for Violations

When laws are violated at a construction site, the contractor, property owner, or other parties involved in unsafe practices may face fines and penalties. They may have to delay the construction project or stop work altogether. In extreme cases, the contractor may lose the operation license. These measures are put in place to protect workers from harmful job site conditions.

What To Do After a Construction Accident

If you are a worker who experienced an injury on the job, you may need help with what to do. Your priority following a construction accident is to seek medical attention. Once you’ve done that, you should report the incident to your employer. Hopefully, your employer will handle the situation responsibly.

Sometimes, an employer or insurance agent may take advantage of employees unfamiliar with their rights. They may try to get you to sign a waiver that limits them. If you have questions about your case, you can seek advice from a construction accident lawyer. Your attorney can help you through the claim from beginning to end and work to defend your rights. You can focus on healing from your injuries while your attorney handles the details of your claim.

The attorneys at Cellino Law are familiar with New York City construction laws and regulations. They have also faced construction insurance companies and know their tactics. If you want more information about your construction injury case, call Cellino Law today. We provide you with a free case review. You only pay us if you win your claim, so there’s no initial risk. Call today for more information.

INJURED?
WE CAN HELP

CALL US NOW

Free Case Review

FREE CASE REVIEW

Testimonials

  • My experience during the time of negotiations was extremely positive. Josh Sandberg handled my lawsuit with the utmost integrity. He returned all my phone calls in a timely manner and answered all my questions. Josh made things less stressful. I would highly recommend Josh and the entire staff at Cellino Law.

    Arthur

  • I can only say great things about my attorney Allan Silverstein. He is professional, he calls back right away, he keeps me informed, and makes me feel comfortable as this entire ordeal is stressful. I have total confidence in his ability to handle whatever comes his way. He is no nonsense and very good at his job. Thank you Allan... he is a true asset to the team!

    Mrs Steward

  • I am writing to let you know what an outstanding job George Gridelli did for me in my personal injury lawsuit. His professionalism and expertise were evident at our first metting and he and his paralegal Diane D'Andrea took care of me as if I was a friend and not merely a client. They both went above and beyond for me in so many ways that it would be too numerous to list and I am grateful to have had such an exemplary team represent me. When working with George and watching him in court he personified to me what a lawyer is supposed to be - an honest, extremely compentent man who helped guide me through the legal system. I could not have obtained better representation anywhere else at any price. To me that says a lot abut you and your firm's integrity. Thank you again for representing me and for having such stellar individuals working for you! I will continue to recommend your firm.

    Carol

  • This letter is to thank Ms. Diane D’Andrea, assistant to Mr. George Gridelli, Attny for all the hard work, dedication, and attentiveness she showed during the representation of my case. She was always cheerful and ready to help in whatever way she could. All messages left for Mr. Gridelli were always relayed and Mr. Gridelli always promptly returned our calls. She was a very competent assistant. Cellino Law has proven to be a model of what legal representation should be. Throughout the 6 ½ years of this case, I have heard many horror stories from people with “bad lawyer stories.” We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have chosen Cellino Law and will always recommend you to those looking for good, honest representation with a personal touch.

    Joseph

  • Thank you for all your help. It has been a long journey. At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, thank Tom for the help and work he put in.

    Ron

  • Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.

    Theodore