Lives in Brooklyn, injured in Albany / Construction worker Dildlar Hossain describes how he was injured when he lost his balance and fell 12 feet at a construction site. His story also demonstrates how contractors take advantage of immigrant workers.
I was on the second-to-last step of a ladder for a new construction job in Albany when I fell twelve feet and landed on my left arm. At the time, I was putting down painters’ masking tape on the aluminum trim of a commercial building’s windows. Once I finished with the masking tape, I was supposed to paint part of the windows. Three legs of the A-frame ladder were on cement and the fourth leg was on a dirt surface. The eight-foot ladder was not tied off and the dirt surface made the ladder unstable, causing me to fall.
Later that day, May 9, 2010, my employer drove me to a hospital that was one hour away from the work site instead of bringing me to a closer hospital to obtain medical attention. No ambulance was ever called. My employer didn’t want any proof of my injury and tried to take advantage of me because I am an immigrant. I spent three days in the hospital and needed six months of physical therapy. I suffered a left wrist fracture, left elbow tear and needed open reduction internal fixation. Thanks to the treatment, my arm is getting better but I am still in pain.
Prior to my accident, I worked on some construction projects in Brooklyn but for this job, the contractor drove me and four other workers from Brooklyn to Albany. I was a simple day laborer and was not given any hardhat or safety instructions. I was just given a ladder and told to go to work.
My case went to mediation and settled in November of 2012. Without the Scaffold Safety Law, I would have been unable to recover compensation against the contractor.