Since January 2011, 39 pedestrians and construction workers have suffered injuries involving sidewalk sheds. There are currently more than 10,000 sidewalk sheds in New York City, according to the article
New York, N.Y. (PRWEB) June 16, 2014
The findings of an in-depth investigation published in The New York World on May 30, talks about the serious dangers posed by sidewalk sheds in New York City. According to the report, sidewalk sheds are an increasingly common sight in the city where the Department of Buildings requires them at any construction, remodeling or demolition site.
However, what The New York World's investigation recently found is that the special Scaffold Safety Team formed in 2007 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg has thinned out from 17 field inspectors in 2008 to nine in 2013. This reduction in enforcement staff, the report says, has caused the number of violations issued for faulty sheds to drop from 855 in 2009 to 337 in 2013.
Also, since January 2011, 39 pedestrians and construction workers have suffered injuries involving sidewalk sheds. The article cites examples of incidents where a victim was hit on the head by debris while walking near a sidewalk shed in the East Village as well as that of a child who suffered an electrical shock after she touched a sidewalk shed carrying live electrical voltage in Red Hook, Brooklyn. There are currently more than 10,000 sidewalk sheds in New York City, according to the article.
Sidewalk sheds that are improperly constructed or maintained can pose serious hazards to pedestrians and bystanders, said New York personal injury lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm. "A sidewalk shed is a structure erected over a sidewalk to protect pedestrians from objects that may fall from a nearby construction site. When these structures are not properly built, pedestrians could get hit by falling debris or equipment and suffer serious head injuries and other traumatic injuries."
The city as well as the contractors and construction companies that put together these sheds have a duty to safeguard the public, he said. "I certainly hope that the city steps up enforcement of how these sheds are constructed and maintained. It is unfortunate that the staffing levels of the Scaffold Safety Team created specifically to monitor these sheds have come down. It is crucial at this point for the city to step up enforcement and protect New Yorkers from serious injuries caused by faulty sidewalk sheds."
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