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Look Out Below: Standards for Multi-Story Work

November 12, 2015 Construction Accidents,Workers' Compensation

Sometimes, construction injury cases can be built around how a work area is set up. The bigger and more complex the workspace is, the more diverse kinds of risks workers can be exposed to.

A primary example is the issue of multi-story work. It’s not extremely uncommon for construction projects in New York City to consist of work on various levels of a building, especially since so much of the design of NYC neighborhoods often involves “building up.”

Some workers may be engaged in work activities on the ground, for example, cutting or altering work materials, coordinating transportation or looking at drafts or blueprints.

Others may be working 20, 50 or 100 feet in the air, whether on scaffolding, in harnesses or standing on mezzanine or terrace structures on any number of types of work activities.

So, What’s the Problem?

One of the problems with such work is the issue of heavy materials. Most foremen and job supervisors are familiar with the risks for materials falling off of a traditional steel girder structure; so, they look out for things falling from above. But they might not take the same kinds of care with an indoor multi-story project because they don’t anticipate materials moving laterally from the floor or otherwise falling into an open space.

However, the reality is that on the average work site, all sorts of things can shift in a variety of ways. It’s not enough to just account for the most obvious hazards. Companies have to anticipate even relatively unlikely situations and put common-sense safety protections in place.

In the case of multi-story work processes, the best safeguard consists of netting or safety structures that contain the materials and equipment for a specific work process. If, for example, brick layers are working with masonry 50 feet above the ground on a partially-constructed floor area, that central area should be contained by netting or other barriers. If not, something can fall and someone can get hurt.

Contrary to what some may think, companies can properly plan for these situations. They are real situations that New York courts have already considered in previously-resolved cases, some of which ended in favor of the injured party. Personal injury lawyers use such case precedent to help determine how they will work on behalf of their clients. Injury victims themselves should understand that they may have many forms of legal recourse if they are injured at work. With the help of qualified injury attorneys, many more victims can get the money they need for care and recovery.

Call a New York City Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

New York City construction workers who are injured on the job can get legal assistance from the experienced injury law team at the law offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. We will keep you informed about your case and help you protect your family’s finances after a work accident.