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New York Tunnel Construction Accident Lawyer

The construction of underground passageways, tunnels, chambers, and shafts are important yet a highly dangerous activity. This type of work involves working in reduced light conditions with limited exits and access points, as well as exposure to asphyxiation, fire, and explosive hazards. Standard 1926.800 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates underground construction. It has been revised many times to reflect changes in construction and to more adequately protect workers.

People may lose their lives or suffer serious, long-term injuries as a result of construction activities related to tunneling. If you were affected by such an accident in any of the five boroughs, please contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400 for a free case evaluation. Our injury lawyer for tunnel construction accidents will help you determine whether you have grounds for a case, the value of your claim, and the next steps you should take.

Tunnel Construction

Tunnel construction is covered by OSHA’s underground construction regulations. New York Consolidated Laws-Labor Article 7 also applies to relevant workers, as does New York Building Construction, Demolition and Repair Work § 240.

Hazards faced by those working in tunnels include:

  • Reduced natural ventilation
  • Reduced natural light
  • Difficult and limited entry and egress from the tunnel
  • Exposure to air contaminants, such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, or nitrogen dioxide
  • The threat of fires, floods, or explosions
  • Cave-ins
  • Earth or rockslides
  • Equipment failures

States administer their own workplace health and safety programs but must enforce standards that meet or exceed federal requirements. Some of the requirements of such programs include:

  • Having safe entryways and exits
  • Providing employee training based on needs and requirements
  • Implementing effective check-in and check-out procedures
  • Having emergency protocols and dangerous situation response plans in place

When it comes to tunneling, construction rules dictate that a supervisor is required on-site at all times. These individuals must be able to identify existing or predictable hazards pertaining to:

  • Air monitoring and ventilation
  • Identifying the presence of contaminants
  • Managing illumination and communications
  • Handling flood control
  • Personal protective equipment rules
  • Executing emergency procedures, such as emergency evacuations
  • Implementing check-in and check-out procedures
  • Managing the use of explosives
  • Ensuring fire prevention and protection protocols are met and followed
  • Supervising the use of mechanical equipment

The rules outlining these safety-directed responsibilities are very comprehensive, and they govern how to manage everything from the movement of people and materials to the handling of spills, power sources, machine repairs, and the implementation of safety standards and procedures.

Through the supervisors, employers are required to manage all of these different factors and maintain open communication with others at the worksite to make sure that any events or situations that impact worker safety are immediately and effectively addressed as needed.

The employer must also maintain worker headcounts, prevent unauthorized access to their worksite, and ensure safety protocols for dangerous work, such as work with loose gravel, holes, heavy machinery, or with explosives is conducted per mandated safety standards. A failure to do so may lead to deadly consequences—as well as a liability on the part of the employer or specific members of their team.

Injuries and Accidents

Tunnel construction accidents cause:

  • Head injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures and sprains
  • Nerve, muscle, and connective tissue damage
  • Respiratory injuries
  • Toxic chemical injuries
  • Burns, cuts, or lacerations
  • Crushed bones or amputations
  • Blindness, face injuries, or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

These accidents happen in many ways. The misuse of power tools or toxic chemicals cause burns or puncture wounds. Machines or materials that are not properly secured, hoisted, or transported have been known to crush a worker. Improperly secured power lines cause electrocutions. Cave-ins and toxic gas build-ups cause worker deaths as well. Finally, equipment malfunctions and the absence of protective gear or required safety equipment also cause injuries or fatalities.

Depending on how an accident occurs and the factors or events that caused it, an injured worker will be able to sue a product manufacturer, a service team, or a third party for injuries and losses from a tunnel construction accident.

Our injury lawyer for tunnel construction accidents is here to help. We will meet with you anywhere on Long Island or in the New York metropolitan area. If you were involved in a tunneling accident, please contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400 to learn more about evidence collection and how to identify the at-fault party responsible for your accident.

Why File a Claim

According to Industrial Health, the absence of formal rules that ensure that clients and construction companies both share responsibility for implementing health and safety standards lead to higher accident rates and more injury-related deaths and losses. As mentioned earlier, OSHA and state/federal rules govern various types of construction activities—including tunnel construction—and employers, clients, and vendors are expected to follow mandated safety protocols.

If you suffered an accident, sustained injuries, or were forced to endure other losses because of the oversights, negligence, or incompetence of another party, you may face substantial medical bills, an inability to work, potential injuries as serious as a permanent loss of a body part, or even worse, a loved one.

It is in cases such as these that you will file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and parties that are legally responsible for your injuries. Friedman & Simon, L.L.P.’s injury lawyer for tunnel construction accidents is available to help. If you decide to work with us, we will:

  • Keep you updated on your case
  • Identify liable parties
  • Communicate with all parties for you
  • Gather evidence
  • Determine a value for your case

Please contact us today at (516) 932-0400. Statutes of limitations apply to all civil cases generally end to personal injury claims in particular. To effectively make a claim for an injury resulting from tunnel construction, a lawyer must gather evidence, establish a connection between your injuries and the actions of another party, and deal with insurance adjusters and other administrative and legal bodies. We have the experience and dedication to take these steps for you. One of our goals is to relieve you of the stress of claim details and deadlines so you can focus on medical treatment, healing, and rebuilding your life. Contact us today for a case evaluation. Our staff can assist you in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada. If your case warrants a claim, we will help you determine a course of action based on the specifics of your case.

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