Ironworkers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry. According to OSHA, ironworkers in New York City are highly prone to debilitating injuries like crushed body limbs, fractured bones, and even death.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees; their recent research shows that ironworkers have one of the 10 most deadly jobs in the US. For every 100,000 workers in the iron and steel industry, 47 workers lost their lives in 2005.
This even led the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers to launch a campaign, “Countdown to Zero”, to reduce the number of ironworker fatalities in the country. However, despite their best efforts, a few workers still fall victim to construction accidents each year.
Just because steel and iron workers perform dangerous jobs, it doesn’t mean they relinquish their right to come home healthy-and-whole in the evening. If you have suffered injuries on your job as an iron or steel worker in New York, you have legal rights that allow you to file for compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can help you file a Workers’ Compensation claim or a lawsuit against those who are responsible for your injuries. Call us at 212-344-1000 and our knowledgeable attorneys will go out of their way to hold negligent parties liable in the court.
Dangers Associated with Construction Accidents for Ironworkers
Due to the nature of their jobs, ironworkers are often required to work at elevated heights, putting and welding steel frames, working on the ground with heavy equipment, and constructing rebar reinforcements for cement. They also have to work on steel frames of buildings where there is little to no protection from exposed utility lines and heights.
These perilous conditions, in combination with the negligence of employers in implementing proper safety measures can lead to severe injuries for the workers. Here are some of the most common dangers faced by the ironworkers:
Loss of body parts: If a worker’s body limb(s), such as a leg or an arm, gets caught between equipment or steel beams, it may result in an amputation.
Fall-related injuries: Falling from heights is the biggest risk for iron and steel workers. In the absence of necessary training and safety equipment, a worker is more prone to permanent spinal cord injuries and brain damage.
Impalement: One of the most gruesome things that can happen to an ironworker is deep laceration or impalement while working around rebar. This results in multiple broken bones and severe internal injuries.
Burn injuries: Any sort of accident involving the welding equipment can lead to severe burns, causing permanent disability, disfigurement, or death.
Death: The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that ironworkers have the 2nd highest rate of fatalities due to accidents at construction sites. Any of the above-mentioned instances can lead to the untimely demise of the worker.
Official Workplace Hazards for Ironworker: the “Deadly Dozen”
The Ironworkers International has identified 12 workplace vulnerabilities for iron and steel workers that are collectively known as “the deadly dozen”:
These accidents often result in a wide range of injuries, such as broken bones, deep lacerations, amputations, internal bleeding, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, coma, paralysis, and death.
Possible Measures to Reduce the Risk of Injuries
Here are some ways in which a construction company can make sure the worksite is safer for its workers:
Perform a hazard analysis in advance
Before starting any work on the site, the employers must make a list of the tasks that are most likely to cause injuries. The workers should also make a list of tools they will need for the job and the exact description of the tasks at hand.
This comprehensive report allows the workers to be aware of the safety risks at the site and all the possible steps they can take to prevent them.
Prepare a safety plan
For the safety of workers and efficiency of the job, a task package should be prepared beforehand. This package should include description of each operation and how it can be carried out in the safest way possible.
Keep the worksite organized
It is not always possible to keep the construction site clean, but it can certainly be kept organized and clutter-free. Contractors should implement an efficient “housekeeping” strategy to ensure the site is as hazard-free as possible.
Liability of the At-fault Party
It is the duty of employers and contractors to identify and minimize the workplace hazards, in addition to providing properly-working safety equipment. Also, the ironworkers should understand their rights and take action to ensure their jobs don’t put them at unnecessary risk.
But if an accident does occur due to safety violations or carelessness of a third party, injured victims and their families should not pay the price! According to the strict New York laws, the victims (and their families) of construction accidents have a right to sue the responsible party and seek compensation for their losses.
The responsible party could be the employer, property owner, manufacturer and/or seller of the faulty equipment, or a negligent supervisor. Anyone who directly or indirectly made the workplace conditions unsafe which eventually caused the accident can be sued.
Contact New York Construction Accident Lawyers for Maximum Compensation
Have you or a loved fallen victim on a construction site due to someone else’s slack behavior? Our injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP know how to carefully investigate ironworker accidents and determine whether your accident was caused by the contractor, equipment servicing company, equipment operator, equipment manufacturer, or someone else.
We have been representing the construction accident victims in New York for 98 years – we know how to work with you every step of the way to ensure you get maximum compensation possible for your troubles. We will help you explore your legal options going forward. We do not charge any fee until we will win compensation for you.