2 Construction Workers Die in Separate Accidents Hours Apart in Manhattan: DOB

What Safety Regulations Are In a Place to Protect Construction Workers?

Two construction workers died in Manhattan on Thursday, September 21, 2017, in separate accidents. The first construction worker plunged to his death from the 29th floor of a luxury condo development in the city’s Financial District. The deceased, Angel Munoz, 43, was a father of five and a veteran construction worker. He lost his balance before falling. He had worn his harness, but it was not fastened.

Later that day, two workers fell from the third floor of a development on Ninth Avenue. One of them aged 45, died at the scene. The two fell from a bucket lift they were not secured onto.

Construction sites expose workers to numerous dangers and hazards, some of which lead to fatal accidents. While there are regulations to protect construction workers from such fates, some construction agencies do not pay close attention to them in favor of the bottom line, leading to injury. If you are a construction worker who was injured in a construction site accident, consult a New York construction accident attorney to evaluate your case.  

Safety Regulations in Place to Protect Construction Workers

Construction workers are prone to numerous hazards. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), published standards to protect construction workers from the many dangers they face in construction sites. Here are some of the published standards:


Scaffolding causes an estimated 4,500 construction site injuries a year. To protect construction workers, OSHA standards require that:

  • Employees 10 or more feet above a lower level be protected by a guardrail or fall arrest. Employees on single-point and two-point adjustable scaffolds be protected by personal fall arrests. Midrails and toeboards should also be included.
  • Support scaffolding should be level and strong enough to support loaded scaffold.
  • Supported scaffold platforms should be fully planked and should be accessed using ladders and stairwells.
  • Competent persons should periodically inspect scaffolds

Fall protection

Unstable working surfaces and lack of fall protection are some of the leading causes of construction site falls. OSHA requires:

  • Guardrails and toeboards must be installed on floor edges and roofs.
  • Safety net systems and personal fall arrest systems be used. Aerial lifts and elevated platforms must be considered for enhanced safety while working on high surfaces.

Ladders and stairways

Every year, 24,882 injuries are reported relating to falls from ladders and staircases. OSHA recommends that:

  • Only the right ladders must be used in construction work.
  • A competent person should inspect ladders before use.
  • Ladders should be long enough to reach the area of work safely.
  • Defective or damaged ladders should either be tagged for repair or destroyed completely.
  • Ladders should never be loaded beyond their maximum load capacity.
  • Stairways should be kept free from hazardous objects or debris.
  • Slippery stairways should be corrected immediately.
  • Stairways going up more than 30 inches should have handrails.


Trench collapses cause numerous fatalities each year. OSHA requires that:

  • Professional engineers must be hired to design trenches.
  • Trench walls be sloped and the soil be shored and shielded to prevent cave-ins and protect workers.
  • Spoils must be left two or more feet away from trench edges.  
  • Workers must be provided with a safe exit out of the trench such as ladders and stairways.


OSHA requires that:

  • Cranes be checked prior to use to ensure safe operation. Rigging should also be checked.
  • The weight of the load the crane is to lift be checked.
  • Loads should not be moved over workers.
  • Cranes should not carry weights beyond their maximum loads.

There are numerous other safety standards for dangers such as forklifts. There are also safety requirements such as hazard communication, head protection, hand protection and electrical safety.

If you are a construction worker who was injured in a construction accident, your employer may have been in breach of a safety standard. Contact the New York construction accident lawyers at Nagel Rice, LLP today to pursue compensation for your injuries.