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Defective Safety Equipment

Any construction work in New York City involves inherent risks of injury to the workers. It is important to follow the right safety practices, keep the construction site free from known hazards, and wear appropriate safety gear such as hard hats, helmets, and steel toe boots. 


However, an unsuspecting construction worker will not expect that even the construction tools and equipment they are using could put their life in danger, if there is a defect or breakdown while operating the tool. Nearly half a million Americans have to visit the emergency room every year to treat injuries caused by power tools. 


Defective power tools on construction sites significantly increase the chances of accidents. Even the most experienced and trained construction worker who follows all safety guidelines will be helpless if the power tool they are operating is faulty or fails to work the way it is designed to. 


Injuries Caused by Defective Power Tools


Defective power tools on construction sites in New York City can cause many different injuries ranging from mild to severe or sometimes even fatal. Common injuries among construction workers occurring due to faulty power tools include: 


  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Amputation 
  • Lacerations, deep or shallow 
  • Burns 
  • Electrocution 


Types of Construction Tools that can Cause Injuries 


The following types of power tools on construction sites can contribute to worker injuries in New York City, if the tool malfunctions during work. 




Hand-held power saws, table saws, and reciprocating saws must only be operated after the worker has undergone proper training. Power saws on construction sites can cause deadly accidents if automatic shut off controls are missing or faulty, or if the blades are not periodically inspected for defects. 




A construction worker could be impaled in the hand, foot or other body parts because of a faulty nail or staple gun. An unintended discharge from a defective power nail gun could also injure the eye or face. 




The OSHA requires all hand-held power drills to have pressure switches that automatically cut off the power when pressure is released. Any defect in this safeguard mechanism can cause severe puncture injuries or lacerations to the construction worker.




If a hand-held sander malfunctions, it can spray dust and particles into a construction worker’s eyes or lungs, causing injury. Similarly, a faulty spray gun used to atomize fluids and paints can pose the risk of eye injury to the worker. 




If a portable grinding, polishing or buffing wheel’s guard has be removed, modified or is broken down, it may not only cause abrasions, but also cause injuries from a flying particle. 




All types of electrical and battery-run construction tools can cause burns, electrical shocks or electrocution of the operator if they are defective. Even a minor shock may cause the worker to lose balance and fall from a height. 


Legal Claims Arising from Defective Power Tools


As a construction worker in New York City, you should be aware that if your injuries on the job occur because of a faulty power tool, you may not only claim workers’ compensation, but also have a strong third party claim of product liability. 


The power tool manufacturer and supplier have an implied legal duty of care when they sell or supply a tool. If the power tool has a fault that prevents you from operating it safely, or if you do not have access to all the necessary information for its safe use, one or more third parties may be liable for your injuries that occur because of that defect. 


Product liability lawsuits involving defective power tool related injuries on construction sites in New York can typically fall under the following categories: 




If the power tool has a fault that occurred at the design stage itself, it means it could not have been identified at the time of manufacturing. The tool design engineering company or the manufacturer could be liable for design defect injuries.  




If the construction power tool design was accurate, but a fault occurred at the manufacturing stage due to poor quality control, the manufacturer could be liable for construction worker injuries arising due to that defect.




If the power tool has no design or manufacturing defect, but the user instructions and warnings are incorrect or fail to properly communicate the risks associated and the precautions to take, the marketer or supplier of the tool could be held liable for worker injuries attributed to that fault. 


Construction workers in New York City should carefully read all the instructions and warnings related to a power tool and follow the safety practices properly. Despite that, if they get injured because of a faulty power tool, they could have a strong product liability claim against third parties.


Determining the Liable Parties for Your Injuries 


More than one party may be responsible for your construction injuries occurring because of a defective power tool. If the tool was fairly new or in very good condition when it malfunctioned, the tool manufacturer might be the negligent party in this case. 


If the power tool developed a fault because of poor maintenance or lack of inspection, the construction employer, contractor, or supervisor could be held liable for negligence. Maintenance workers or other employees may also be found to be at fault if they knowingly ignored the defect of the tool, and exposed workers to the risk of injury.


Choose an Experienced Construction Injury Lawyer in New York City


Injuries from defective power tools on construction sites in New York City can be serious. You may not only require advanced medical treatment, but may also have a reduced ability to perform your job. The resulting medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses must be compensated, when the injury occurred due to another party’s negligence. 


In this complex situation, your goal should be to secure the financial future of you and your family by obtaining your rightful damages from the at-fault parties. You can achieve this when you have a powerful legal representation. 


Our personal injury and product liability lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLC will diligently investigate the cause of your accident and establish evidence of the potential defects of design, manufacturing, or marketing related to the faulty power tool that caused your injuries.


We have decades of experience in obtaining successful verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured construction workers in New York City. We will create the best possible legal strategy to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries and losses. Contact us at (212) 210-1637 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.


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