Updated July 2017: In 2014, we posted this blog discussing an article from the New York Daily News where we addressed the boom in construction in New York City, and how this huge increase in construction projects will most likely lead to more workplace accidents.
Three years later we look back at the effects of the construction boom with these questions in mind: Was the foreshadowing true? Have more workers suffered accidents due to the construction boom?
What the Statistics Show
Construction-related deaths in New York City have become an epidemic. In the past two years, 31 construction workers were killed on the job. Between 2014 and 2015, workplace-related injuries and deaths increased by 88 percent, from 231 to 435 incidents. In fact, New York City has the highest occupational death, accounting for 34 percent of all workplace fatalities.
Most construction fatalities happened at non-union sites. More than 90 percent of these construction sites had violated OSHA safety standards.
What is Causing These Deaths?
Safety measures are going by the wayside. Contractors need employees who can start work immediately. There is no time for safety training. It is much cheaper for employers to forego safety precautions and take the risk of an accident happening.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is understaffed, with the agency employing 13 percent fewer inspectors in 2014. This means that many construction sites are left uninspected. Of those inspected, 73 percent had at least one violation. The most common violation was a lack of fall protection—the cause of most construction-related deaths in recent years.
Is New York City Doing Anything to Help?
The New York City Council proposed a bill earlier this year that would require more safety training for workers. While all construction workers are already required to undergo training, very few do. Union contractors are known for requiring rigorous training. Non-union crews get very little.
The proposed bill would change that, requiring non-union workers to receive the same type and amount of training as their union counterparts. All workers would be required to attend at least 54 hours of training. Supervisors would be required to attend an additional 30 hours of training on the top of the minimum requirements.
It is hopeful that the additional training would help educate workers and make them aware of common construction site dangers. By increasing response time and improving equipment operation, workers can keep construction sites much safer.
There are many other ways in which New York City can help protect construction workers. Will passing a bill be enough? Only time will tell.
New York City Construction Boom Will Lead to Increase in Accidents and Injuries
The New York Daily News recently reported that New York City is about to embark on a construction boom that will threaten the safety of the thousands of construction workers throughout the city. Construction workers understand that they are entering a profession where large equipment is used on a daily basis. Nevertheless, construction accidents like the one where a worker fell 80 feet to his death in Midtown Manhattan in April 2014 call into question the safety of city construction sites. If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, the first step you should take is contacting a Brooklyn construction accident attorney for a free consultation to help you evaluate your case.
Protecting New York City Construction Workers
The Daily News report stated that in 2011 and 2012 1,513 construction workers died on the job nationwide, many of them in New York City. This is a staggering number that calls for re-evaluating the best protection for the city’s construction workers and their families in the event of a catastrophic injury.
Construction injuries can occur for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are construction company failures to adhere to safety regulations at the job sites they manage. For example, in the Midtown Scaffolding accident, there were reported three-dozen open violations on the job site where the worker died. Because there are few regulatory protections for construction workers, the best possible course of action if you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident is to contact an experienced attorney immediately.
Why Do I Need a Brooklyn Construction Accident Attorney?
Surely you would like to believe that the construction site where you or your loved one works is safe. In fact, the training courses you attended and the materials you received probably lead you to believe that this is the case. However, the statistics do not lie, and frequently the job sites that claim to be safe are in violation of many state and local laws and regulations. In order to determine the best course of action, you will need to speak with an attorney who specializes in these types of cases so that they can advise you whether filing a personal injury lawsuit immediately could be to your benefit.
Contact NY Personal Injury Attorneys Peters, Berger, Koshel & Goldberg, P.C.
Construction accidents are dangerous hazards that can result in a lifetime of pain and loss to the injured worker and his or her family. If you have suffered due to a construction-related accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorney right away. The accident attorneys at Peters, Berger, Koshel, & Goldberg, P.C., provide skilled, effective representation to clients who have been victims in a construction accident injury. Contact us at 718-596-7800 or 1-800-836-7801.