In cases involving injured workers at a construction site, a Long Island Construction Accident lawyer’s investigation into an accident includes determining whether a worker was provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Construction work is unquestionably one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. In New York City alone, approximately 400,000 people are performing construction work. If one of these workers is not provided the right PPEs, the risk of their suffering severe head, foot or eye injuries greatly increase. According to OSHA standards, an employer shall provide PPEs, which include equipment for eyes, face, head, extremities and respiratory devices, whenever necessary.
OSHA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations – Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer
OSHA regulations require a general contractor or subcontractor to make sure their employees wear the appropriate PPEs in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous work conditions. A general contractor supervisor or safety manager’s job duties require them to walk through the construction site and instruct workers who are not wearing the appropriate PPE to put them on.
There are numerous types of PPEs our skilled Long Island Construction Accident lawyers are aware an employer should provide its workers to prevent or minimize his or her injuries. These include:
- Eye and Face protection – safety glasses or face shields that workers wear to prevent foreign objects from getting into the eye. During welding, cutting or grinding work that involve flying particles, eye and face protection is essential;
- Foot protection – Protective footwear when there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects or object piercing the sole;
- Hand protection – Gloves to protect workers from skin absorption of harmful substances, extreme temperatures or chemicals. Also wearing insulated closes when exposed to electrical hazards;
- Head protection – Wearing hard hats when there is a potential of objects falling from above. Also wear head protection to prevent injuries due to striking low overhead objects such as pipes or beams;
- Ear protection – Earplugs or earmuffs in high noise work areas
- Respiratory protection – Employees will wear a respirator to protect them from breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fumes, gases or sprays.
New York State Personal Protective Equipment Regulations – Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer
In addition to OSHA, the State of New York Industrial Code (Section 12 NYCRR 12-1.8) requires protective eyewear under circumstances where an employee is engaged in any operation which may endanger the eyes. They further require head protection for every worker required to work or pass in an area where there is a danger of being struck by falling objects or materials or where the hazard of head bumping exists. Also, foot protection is required when workers are required to work or pass in water, mud, wet concrete, or any other wet footing.
What Happens when a Worker is Injured due to Lack of PPEs
When workers are involved in an accident due to the lack of PPEs, a Long Island Construction accident attorney will prove how this lack of protection caused the accident. For example, in one case a carpenter was injured in the eye when a nail bounced up while he was hammering it through a pre-cut metal plate into a block of wood. The Appellate Court held the general contractor was responsible for the worker’s injury because the work involved a foreseeable risk of an eye injury for which he needed to wear protective goggles.
Another Case and Example
In another case, a worker was working on the floor level when a lighting bar that electricians above him were removing from the top of a display booth fell and struck the worker’s head. The Appellate Court held the property owner could be responsible for the worker’s head injuries since they failed to provide a hard hat. The facts showed the injured worker was in an area with a risk of his being struck by falling objects or materials.
The above law and examples show how important it is for the persons in charge of construction sites to provide PPEs for their workers. They must make sure the workers are using the PPEs so they remain safe. When you contact our attorneys at The Platta Law Firm, you will speak with someone who not only has knowledge of the law but knows how a contractor’s failure to provide appropriate protective equipment resulted in your injuries. Our lawyers fight for you to prove the type of safety equipment that should have protected you from harm. Our Long Island construction accident personal injury lawyers have years of experience in representing clients who were injured as a result of construction accidents and understand every aspect of the Labor Law from start to finish to allow you to reach a maximum recovery for your injuries.