In February, nine construction workers were sickened by their exposure to carbon monoxide on a New York City job site. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) reported the rescue of the workers from a confined area of the site located in Kips Bay at 30 E. 29th Street shortly before the end of the work day.
At approximately 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, the FDNY responded to a reported carbon monoxide leak. Five of the nine workers only experienced minor consequences from their exposure. However, the remaining four were reportedly seriously injured. It was not thought that any of the workers’ conditions were life-threatening.
Generator to blame
Apparently, the leak was caused by a gas-powered generator set up in the basement of the building under construction. The affected workers were attempting to pour a concrete slab when they were overcome.
The Special Operations chief of the FDNY described the rescue operation thusly to a local media outlet:
“We connected some ropes and some hardware to that, and were able to put the patients in a basket and haul them up.” He added that generators were only to be used “outside in . . . well-ventilated area(s).”
The spokesperson for the New York City Department of Buildings stated that they issued a “full stop-work order” after finding two generators in the job site basement. Additionally, both the site management team and the contractor on the job face other safety violations for the dangerous breach.
Back in September of 2018, the DOB issued the residential building permit for the job site. During the site’s last inspection, there were no safety issues found.
Workers at risk
Construction sites are at high risk for workers to be injured, and most workers know and understand this. But this was a clearly avoidable incident that should never have occurred.
Company owners, safety personnel and job site supervisors are all tasked with insuring that work areas are free of safety risks and other hazards. When these safety protocols are not followed to the letter, construction workers can wind up injured or killed.
Nobody should lose their life or livelihood due to negligence. If you experienced an on-the-job injury, you should learn about your right to pursue compensation for your losses and other damages.