Construction is traditionally one of the top three industries where the most significant number of accidents, including fatalities, are recorded. The risk of injury increases exponentially if the same negligent and unprofessional managers are responsible for the safety of a construction site, as those working at CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC., whose criminal attitude to safety rules almost cost the life of a worker.
The International Labor Organization estimates that about 2.3 million people die yearly from workplace accidents or work-related diseases. This is equivalent to 6,000 people daily. And there are approximately 340 million accidents at work every year worldwide.
Occupational safety managers, who are serious about creating a safe environment for workers, say safety rules are written in blood. And it’s not just a figure of speech. After all, even a slight violation, and even more so, a complete disregard for these rules, can cause accidents that harm health, disability, incapacity for work, and even death.
Today, 50 years after the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed to ensure the health and safety of working people in America, not all employers adhere to its principles.
Traditionally, the dismal ranking of construction and demolition accidents is topped by falls from heights, accounting for nearly a third of total accidents. Following are injuries associated with the operation of machinery, lifting equipment, cranes, and loaders, the share of which is within a quarter of all cases. The most severe of these are accidents associated with the use of cranes and hoists. In third place in this “bloody” rating with almost 15% are accidents associated with the collapse of materials, buildings, parts of building structures, or beams, as happened at a facility under the control and management of CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC. in New York.
June 28, 2017, started like a normal day for GIORGI CHADUNELI. He took a shower, drank his usual morning coffee and sandwich, closed the blinds, and looked twice in the mirror before going to work. Usually, this ritual brings good luck, but not today. After all, he will be seriously injured by an industrial steel beam in a couple of hours, and his life will never be the same. At about 11:00 am, GIORGI last saw the venue at Cropsey Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. The next time he opens his eyes in a hospital room, where he will have to endure many painful, painful procedures and remain bedridden for a long time.
You might think that a cursed beam or bad luck changed his life. In fact, the reason for everything is the negligence and carelessness of CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC. managers, who created unsafe conditions for people working at the facility. After all, the object was in their jurisdiction. And it was they who were supposed to ensure its serviceability and safety. Which obviously didn’t happen.
What is the continuation of this story? Nearly a year after the terrible tragedy that left GIORGI CHADUNELI disabled, incapacitated, and unable to carry out his normal duties and professional activities, the victim filed a lawsuit against CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC.
And it’s not even that GIORGI defends its rights to well-deserved compensation for causing physical and moral suffering as a result of trauma and subsequent disorders and diseases, as well as loss of ability to work and the ability to lead an everyday life. First of all, Mr. CHADUNELI wants the defendant, CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC., to bring the scene to a proper safe condition.
Indeed, even after the tragedy that occurred there, the facility remains in a dangerous and malfunctioning state and poses a threat to the people who are there. And these are the former colleagues of Mr. CHADUNELI, who are at risk daily due to the improper attitude of the managers of CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC. to their official duties and the safety of the working staff. Even after the misfortune that befell GIORGI CHADUNELI, the scene at Cropsey Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, continues to exist in a dangerous and harmful state despite the fact that the defendant is fully aware of the constant danger to those working on the site.
Often such accidents occur at the facilities of employers who are experiencing financial difficulties. In adverse circumstances, irresponsible company managers try to complete the project faster and cheaper, forcing employees to work longer and harder. And, of course, they also tend to cut security-related costs.
However, the potential hazards at a construction and demolition site far outweigh the risks at most other workplaces, so caution and prevention play an important role in organizing the construction process.
Any compromise on work safety can be deadly for construction workers who perform dangerous but important work. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in ten construction workers is injured on the job every year. At the same time, 20% of all those who died at work in 2019 were construction workers.
It is not only the workers on the construction site who are at risk in the case of a dishonest construction contractor. In 2019, residents of the building adjacent to the construction site suffered from unprofessional and negligent actions of the same company CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC. As Yury Grobshteyn stated in his lawsuit, the sewerage of a seven-story residential complex in Brooklyn was damaged by the fault of this contractor. As a result of the actions of CHESAKL, which acted as a subcontractor for the construction work, construction was stopped, and the developer was involved in legal proceedings that lasted two years, was forced to pay compensation to residents, and lost money.
In cooperation with demolition colleagues to develop a site for the construction of new high-rise buildings, the same notorious company was harassing a commercial tenant. They created unbearable conditions for the tenant, illegally forcing Auto Service NYC to vacate the legally occupied territory. In doing so, CHESAKL and the other defendants acted in violation of repeated New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) Total Stop Work Orders (“FSWO”), for which they received fines of more than $45,000.
What must an employer do to create a safe workplace?
An employer’s responsibilities under OSHA to keep workplaces safe include the following:
• Provision of a safe workplace;
• Creating workplace conditions that meet OSHA standards;
• Provision of quality and appropriate tools and equipment to ensure the safety of employees and regular maintenance;
• Informing employees about potential risks using visual media;
•Teaching employees about safety in a language and vocabulary understandable to all employees;
• Accounting for all employee injuries that occurred at the workplace and occupational diseases;
• Informing employees of their work rights by displaying a poster listing them in a prominent place.
The most common risks for employees in the construction industry
Not all employers follow OSHA guidelines. Some unscrupulous companies, such as CHESAKL ENTERPRISES, INC., can put their workers at risk by not devoting enough time and safety equipment to the facility.
Here are a few of the most common construction site hazards to look out for if you apply for a job.
Insufficient protection when working at a height
Falls are the most common cause of fatal workplace injuries for construction workers. Employers should take care in advance to protect workers from falls from heights with safety nets, guardrails, and attention to ensuring that scaffolding and ladders are properly secured.
Trenches are dug for laying pipes, cables, and other underground utilities during construction work. The employer is obliged to secure the trenches against the risks of collapse and provide safe and convenient exits.
Harm of asbestos
Although the use of asbestos is limited in the United States today, it was a common building material in past decades. Therefore, when demolishing or repairing an old building, workers still encounter asbestos without even knowing it.
Without respiratory protective equipment, workers can breathe in asbestos fibers, which cause a deadly and incurable form of lung cancer.
Lack of personal protective equipment
When exposed to chemicals, workers should wear masks, goggles, and respirators to protect against toxic airborne dust that can trigger asthma, lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis.
No noise canceling protection
Loud equipment noise can cause hearing loss if workers are not provided with soundproof earmuffs. Employers must provide them.
Impact of electricity
Electricity is a huge workplace hazard for construction workers. Live power lines, malfunctioning power tools, or equipment with frayed or damaged wires can all lead to life-threatening consequences. Employers should prevent electric shock by providing safety goggles, insulated gloves, and serviceable grounded or double-insulated power tools.
Even small objects that fall from great heights can injure or kill someone. Therefore, the employer should pay great attention to the reliable fastening of objects and training employees on this topic.
Cranes, forklifts, and other equipment with moving parts can seriously injure or even kill. Therefore, workers must be provided with reflective vests, and the site must be safely equipped.
Remember that the employer’s legal obligation is to ensure a safe working environment at the construction site. Therefore, if you see that the developer does not comply with safety measures and does not provide staff with the proper equipment and personal protective equipment – stay away from them. Life and health are not worth momentary earnings.