Safety Violations by New York Contractors Putting Construction Workers at Risk, NY Attorney Says

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Taking proper precautions can often prevent serious injuries and fatalities, says NY personal injury lawyer Steven J. Schwartzapfel.

Unfortunately, until certain contractors value worker safety over additional profits, these accidents will continue to happen.

New York contractors too often ignore regulations designed to make construction sites safer--and workers pay the cost with their limbs and lives, says a New York personal injury attorney.

"To increase profits, contractors often cut corners on workers' safety," said Steven J. Schwartzapfel, founding partner of Schwartzapfel Truhowky Marcus P.C., a New York personal injury law firm that handles construction injury cases. "But when owners and contractors put profits before safety, the workers pay the ultimate price. "

Newsday reports that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Thursday proposed a $72,000 fine against Sorbara Construction, a Lynnbrook, New York concrete contractor, for alleged repeated and serious safety violations after a worker fell at a New York City worksite.

Sorbara has 15 business days to pay the fine or contest it.

The worker suffered non-life threatening injuries in March after falling 10 feet from the 34th to the 33rd floor of a building under construction in midtown Manhattan. An OSHA inspection revealed several fall-related hazards, according to the Long Island Business News.

"Our experience shows these kinds of accidents are preventable," Schwartzapfel said. "Often investigations by our firm reveal that the contractor failed to provide adequate safety measures. We have seen inadequate fall protection, lack of safety harnesses, lack of or improperly assembled and secured scaffolding, a failure to safeguard open floor holes and to keep pathways clear of debris."

In 2008, workers in construction suffered the most fatalities of any industry in the private sector with 969 deaths, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics census of fatal occupational injuries. And in that most dangerous industry falls remain the number-one killer, said Kay Gee, OSHA acting director in Manhattan. The bureau reported 680 fatal falls in 2008, down from a record 847 fatal falls in 2007. The economic recession likely accounted for that decline.

"It's no secret that construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the county," Schwartzapfel said. "Unfortunately, until certain contractors value worker safety over additional profits, these accidents will continue to happen."

To learn more about construction site hazards, go to:

About Schwartzapfel Partners

Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C. is a well-respected plaintiff personal injury and estate litigation firm in New York. With over 150 years of combined experience and highly competent co-counsel throughout the country, Schwartzapfel Partners serves all your legal needs.

The firm concentrates in all types of personal injury litigation, including construction accidents, workplace injuries, workers' compensation and Social Security disability. To contact the law firm, call 1.800.966.4999 or go to for more information.


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