November 19, 2023 | Publications

Falling From Heights During Construction Works in NYC

Falling from a height on a construction site imposes absolute liability on the owner of the property. According to the Occupational Health Safety Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of construction site accidents and many construction site falls are caused by a violation of OSHA regulations. Falling from roofs, scaffolding, and ladders can occur when proper safety equipment and gear to prevent falls and other accidents is not provided. Property owners usually have an obligation to maintain the worksite to prevent hazards from injuring workers.


Falls stand as the leading cause of fatalities at construction sites. Construction workers frequently contend with the necessity to ascend to considerable heights. In New York, when construction workers experience falls, the consequences are frequently tragic, resulting in fatalities or severe injuries due to the towering heights of the buildings involved. Even in instances where the fall does not prove fatal, the resulting injuries are typically catastrophic, demanding extensive months or even years of rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, and a substantial likelihood of permanent disability. Schedule Free Consultation of Top Rated Law Firm in Queens.

There are many types of fall injury cases, involving roofers, painters, handymen, carpenters, electricians, welders, crane operators and window washers who:

  • Fell from a Ladder:
  • Fell off a Roof;
  • Fell from Scaffolding;
  • Fell Through Defective Flooring, Such as a Hole in the Floor;
  • Fell off High Equipment;
  • Fell Due to Faulty Ropes or Cables;
  • Fell Because of Co-worker Mistake;
  • Fell Down Unfinished Stairs;

Falling Risks From Scaffolds

Scaffolding creates one of the greatest fall hazards; they are not always constructed properly. A scaffolding accident can cause serious, if not fatal, fall injuries. The most common causes of these accidents are:

  • Unprotected Sides or Wall Openings: Inadequately guarded sides or openings in scaffolding offer no protection to workers who may inadvertently approach the edge, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Unguarded Steel Rebar: The foundational structure of scaffolding is often made of steel rebar. In cases where the rebar is inadequately capped or left entirely exposed, it presents significant hazards. Protruding edges can catch clothing, causing tripping or loss of balance, potentially leading to falls from the scaffold.
  • Unsafe Braces and Connectors: When the connections of scaffolding are not securely or correctly fastened, the stability of the scaffold is compromised. A shaky scaffold can result in workers losing balance and falling, or in more severe cases, the scaffold itself may collapse.
  • Incomplete Assembly: Scaffolds must be assembled according to safety guidelines before use. Failure to follow these guidelines by a worker can compromise the entire structure, posing serious risks to the safety of those using the scaffold.

Falling Risks From Ladders

  • Height: Elevated ladders pose heightened risks, and many ladder accidents involve falls from significant heights.
  • Defective Equipment: Ladder accidents become particularly perilous when the equipment on which you rely is defective or malfunctioning.
  • Negligent Coworkers: Dependency on a coworker to stabilize your ladder introduces risks; their negligence or inattention can contribute to a fall.
  • Inclement Weather: Adverse weather conditions increase the likelihood of falls or being knocked off a ladder, raising the potential for serious injuries.
  • Electricity: Contact with live power lines without proper insulation poses extreme dangers. Electric shocks can lead to loss of grip and falls, or the electrocution itself could prove fatal.

Types of Injuries When Falling from a Height

Numerous potentially life-altering injuries occur after a fall, such as:

  • Chest Trauma, Including Rib Fractures:
  • Collapsed Lung:
  • Internal Organ Lacerations:
  • Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Spinal Cord Injury:
  • Broken Bones:
  • Loss of Limbs:
  • Loss of Vision or Hearing:

On-The-Job Injury

An on-the-job injury is typically covered by Workers’ Compensation; however, construction sites are frequently occupied by various other employers, including contractors, subcontractors, and property owners. In many cases, one or more of these third parties may bear responsibility for a construction worker’s injuries.

  • Property Owner Liability: If an injury occurs on private property, the property owner may be legally accountable for failing to rectify an unsafe condition that caused the worker’s injury.
  • Contractor Responsibility: Construction sites often involve multiple contractors coordinating efforts without sharing employees. Construction workers injured due to the careless or reckless actions of an employee from a different contractor may have the right to seek damages from that specific contractor.

How Can a New York Construction Accident Attorney Help?

Karasik Law Group just closed a construction accident case involving a fall from height for $80,000.00. Construction sites contain hazards for everyone, but they are especially dangerous for construction workers who spend their days there. If you or a loved have been seriously injured in a construction accident such as falling from a height, Top Rated Law Firm Karasik Law Group will fight for your family’s right to compensation for every dollar you are entitled to under the law.  Call us to today at (718) 502-9112 to schedule a Free Consultation. And be sure to visit our website at Winning matters, one matter at a time. Win with us! At Karasik Law Group we speak for the injured; our results speak for themselves.