Residential construction permits in the city are up by an encouraging 33 percent, though along with that comes the greater potential for a Great Neck construction accident.
As our Great Neck construction law attorneys understand it, that’s at least partially why regional administrators for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are extending their fall protection directive for those involved in residential construction.
The directive is essentially the agency’s effort to address the serious risks associated with falls during the course of residential construction. That means the agency is making compliance a top priority for companies working on residential construction projects. It is sending out inspectors to ensure that all the proper protections are in place, and is also handing out related reading materials on what type of citations and penalties these bosses face if they do not comply with the law. It also offered these employers 30 days to address any blatant fall issues.
Originally, this directive was supposed to last six months, wrapping up in the middle of this month. Apparently, however, the agency identified a need to continue this awareness initiative, which it is now extending through December.
As OSHA has identified, falls on residential construction sites have been a problem in Great Neck, New York City and elsewhere.
OSHA reports that in 2010, there were 635 fatal falls at construction sites in the U.S. There were 645 the year before. At the record highest, there were 847 in 2007.
While the number of accidents has declined since the beginning of the economic downturn, they are bound to rise again with the economic rebound that is manifesting itself in the growing number of residential construction projects, as reported by Crain’s New York.
In fact, according to the city’s buildings’ department, there were almost 9,000 permits issued for residential building projects last year, a significant rise from little more than 6,700 the prior year.
Of those projects, the majority – 32 percent – were permits pulled in Queens. Another 22 percent were pulled in Manhattan, 21 percent in Brooklyn, 17 percent in the Bronx and 8 percent in Staten Island.
Crain’s reports that the majority of the residences being built are five units or more, showing that smaller companies are still having a difficult time getting project funding.
Yet that is no reason for any employer to skimp on safety standards on the job site. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that residential construction site falls are often due to improper ladder use. Here are some tips to help avoid this specific type of residential construction fall in Great Neck:
-Make sure you have chosen the correct ladder for the job. Check to make sure that it is in fact a ladder you need, as opposed to a mechanical lift or scaffolding.
-Ask yourself whether the ladder is long enough and whether it is in good working condition.
-Secure the bottom and top of the ladder to fixed points. It only takes a few minutes, but it can mean the difference between a serious fall and returning home without injury.
-When you climb up the ladder, make sure you aren’t carrying tools or anything else in your hands, which should be used solely to ascend and descend. Put tools or other needed items on your tool belt.
The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman represents businesses and employees dealing with workers’ compensation in Great Neck. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.