New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Time to Go Home? Secure the Site

Posted on Jun 19, 2015 in Construction Accidents

We all know what it feels like at the end of the workday — people shrug off the remaining minutes, eager to get home and be done with that long shift. In the mad rush, far too many contractors fail to consider safety options for the next day or the day after when all that needs to be done is to secure the construction site and prepare the tools and materials for storage.

It isn’t just a question of a carpenter leaving some sawhorses in an alley or some masonry workers leaving blocks scattered around an open lot. There’s a bigger question of responsibility here. Enterprises that work in these physical trades need to have standards and policies in place that encourage public safety, not just safety for workers. But regrettably, some companies don’t even do the minimum necessary to avoid certain kinds of industrial accidents or lessen their workers’ chances of injury on the job.

Red Flags on the Job Site

Some of these types of dangerous job sites are hard to describe, but as some safety advocates would say, “you know them when you see them.” You’ll see materials such as bricks, pavers, boards or sheet metal lying errantly around, or scraps of used materials balled up in the middle of the floor with sharp edges up. You might see something like a wheelbarrow or power tool lying somewhere where a child could get access to it. Instead of being neatly stacked, covered, locked away or otherwise hidden, tools and materials might be thrown in a pile near a door, a hallway or even outside on the sidewalk.

Risk Factors

One of the risks of leaving all of these items lying around is related to visitors who might happen by after work hours. Risk assessments typically look at the amount of pedestrian traffic in a local area and the infrastructure of the building, such as gates, lobbies, locking doors, etc. But the best rule of thumb is to secure sites where there’s any chance of visitation or even trespassing. This is important to be aware of because some injury victims can seek settlements, even though nobody invited them to come to the construction site.

Then there are the risks for workers who show up the next day. They may blunder into something like a five gallon bucket full of tools that was carelessly left right in their path. They might pull something down from a shelf, only to have a bunch of other items fall down on top of them.

In general, the disorganization of a site can lead to the kind of slapstick you see in the earliest cinema where people get slapped in the face with rakes or fall down on a banana peel – but unlike in the movies, their injuries will not be entertaining.

Although these types of risks may sound trivial, they’re not, and just like it’s important to provide safety gear for workers and put policies in place for equipment, it’s necessary to have safety policies for the site itself — not just for working hours, but for off-hours too.

New York City Construction Accident Lawyers in Your Neighborhood

New York residents hurt in construction site injuries can call the lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our experienced and professional attorneys will listen to your concerns and help you figure out how to bring a personal injury claim to help cover the cost of care and recovery. Ask us what we’ve done for New York City families and how we advise clients to take advantage of their rights under the law.

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I referred Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff to a friend needing help with a birth injury & medical malpractice case. Having worked with founding partner Daniel Minc myself on a car accident case, I was sure they would be able to deliver results.

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