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Cutting Blade And Saw Accidents on Construction Sites in New York

One of the most common types of injuries construction workers in New York City face is cutting blade or saw accident injuries. These accidents can cause severe lacerations and cuts to the hands or fingers, and even to the feet or toes in some cases. Injuries from cutting blades can sometimes cause of a loss of an extremity, which could prevent a New York construction from ever returning to work.

Risks from Defective Tools and Lack of Safety Features

Saws and cutting blades can be used to cut a wide range of construction materials, such as metal, wood, plastic, concrete, and masonry. Whether working with an electrical or mechanical cutting blade, chainsaw, table saw or handled power saw, construction workers can sustain devastating injuries, including amputations, lacerations, or even death.

Cutting blade or saw accidents are often caused due to defects in the equipment or a lack of essential safety features (like a safety guard). Workers rely on a few basic safety features when working with cutting blades and saws. If the safety guard on a gas- or electric-powered saw fails, it can be hard to avoid a serious accident. Improper maintenance of these tools, use of damaged blades, or lack of training and supervision to ensure correct usage also contribute to these accidents on NYC construction sites.

Failure to Maintain Safety Guards

A common reason for saw or cutting blade injuries in New York City construction sites is the failure of the contractor or site owner to ensure that these tools are provided with safety guards. Unguarded power blades and saws put workers at serious risk of injury. Therefore, the New York Department of Labor has laid out specific safety requirements for the use of power driven cutting tools and saws at construction sites under Industrial Code 23-1.12(c).

According to the Code, every hand-operated, power driven, and portable saw that does not come with a saw table (except circular brush and chain saws) must be equipped with a safety guard fixed over the base plate in order to fully protect the worker from contact with the saw or cutting blade when it is in operation.

The Code further says that a self-adjusting movable safety guard must also be provided under the base plate, which will fully cover the saw or cutting blade to the depth of its teeth when the blade is removed from the cut.

Causes and Prevention of Saw and Cutting Blade Injuries

Accidents on Construction Sites

The blade of a power saw (most commonly a circular or table saw) can cause injuries to the hands and fingers. Absence of a safety guard to protect the operator from the spinning blade can result in severe injuries. These injuries may also occur with a table saw when there is a failure to use a push stick.

The push stick is an object, which the operator can use to the clear the debris from the cutting area. If the construction site owner or contractor in New York fails to provide proper training or equipment to the workers, this simple safety protocol may be violated, resulting in serious accidents.

When the cutting blade is too dull, it can pose a higher risk of injuries (even though this may appear counter-intuitive). The problem is that a dull blade can cause stalling, which leads to a potentially risky situation. With a dull blade, there is also the danger of the material kicking back rather than getting cut cleanly.

It is the responsibility of the construction employer to ensure that the cutting blades and saws are regularly inspected, and dull blades are replaced in a timely manner. Any other defective components should also be repaired or replaced promptly.

Flying objects, such as sawdust, wood chips and other debris can pose a hazard when a powerful saw is being used. Saws and cutting blades must never be used without wearing proper eye protection. If the work demands are high, the worker may try to save time and avoid wearing eye protection, particularly when only a quick cut is required. These situations can result in a devastating accident and injury.

Workers should be trained to never operate a saw or cutting blade without focusing on the material they are cutting. In a fraction of a second, the piece that is being cut can slip and pull the worker’s hand into the blade, or a flying sharp piece can strike the operators or others in the vicinity in the eye or face.

Types of Injuries

From handheld cutting tools for minor jobs to circular saws and jigsaw for demolition and heavy duty cutting blades and saws to cut concrete, metal or other hard materials, all types of sharp equipment poses a substantial risk of injuries to workers on construction sites in New York City.

While each accident and injury will different according to the type of equipment involved and the specific circumstances of the case, victims injured in saw and blade accidents may suffer various types of injuries, including:

  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Amputation of hand or fingers
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Damage to the face or eyes and loss of vision
  • Traumatic brain injury and struck-by accidents
  • Falling objects such as heavy saws, tools, or cut materials
  • Burn injuries caused by fires, sparks, heating materials
  • Electrical shock injuries or electrocution
  • Fatal injuries

Contact Experienced Cutting Blade and Saw Injury Lawyers in New York City

Although the Industrial Code in New York has set out strict safety guidelines, many constructions in NYC get injured every year while operating power driven saws and cutting blades. Liability for their personal injury may be apportioned between the construction site owner, the general contractor, sub-contractor, the owner of the power saw, or other parties.

Experienced construction injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff will be able to establish strong evidence against the liable parties to ensure that you can obtain your rightful damages. Our attorneys will carry out a detailed investigation of your accident and organize all the critical documentation, such as OSHA reports, police report, incident report, and workers’ compensation report.

We will collect all the relevant facts and information related to the cutting tool involved in your accident, such as the make and model of the saw, the condition and type of the blade, and the specific type of safety guards that were fitted, if any. You can get in touch with our experienced cutting blade and saw injury attorneys on 212-697-9280. You can also send us the case details through our website and receive an honest, objective evaluation of your case.