Working in construction is the most dangerous job in New York, Bureau of Labor Statistics information shows. Of all occupations in the state and city, construction leads the way when it comes to fatalities. And deaths and injuries in construction are continuing to increase. CBS2 New York reported in a recent story that, according to city data, work site deaths have increased 33 percent since five years ago, and injuries have gone up 221 percent in that same time period in the city.
Statewide in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, 69 construction workers were killed, according to the BLS. Twenty of those fatalities were in the city. Last year, in 2018, 16 construction workers died citywide, and this year so far, there have been several workers killed, including by falling debris, being crushed by a crane, falling from scaffolding and falling from a roof.
Reasons for the Safety Crisis
Why are construction workers in New York facing this safety crisis?
Building officials and construction workers interviewed for the CBS2 report noted several possible reasons for accidents, including the sheer amount of building that is currently going on to replace older infrastructure, the pressure to meet deadlines and stay on schedule, and some contractors who underbid jobs and then hire “cheap labor.”
According to Tim Hogan, who is the Department of Buildings deputy commissioner of enforcement, there are approximately 45,000 active construction sites in New York City, and 25 percent of them are not in compliance with safety regulations. That equals well over 11,000 construction job sites that are not focused on worker safety.
What’s Being Done
A bill was passed by the New York City Council a couple of years ago that will require all construction workers to undergo 40 hours of mandatory safety training, done in increments and to be completed by September 2020. As of now, however, workers are required to have completed only 10 hours of training. When construction sites are inspected and workers are found not to have undergone the required training, the property owner, main contractor and the worker’s employer all face fines of $5,000 each. Enforcement of this safety rule and others put in place that are designed to protect construction workers has been sporadic, though, according to several media reports. It is yet to be seen whether requiring 40 hours of training will make a difference and how diligently the regulations will be enforced.
No One Should Worry About Dying at Work
When you head out the door to go to the construction site, you shouldn’t have to worry whether you will make it back home to your family, or whether you will be injured and no longer be able to provide for them. If you’ve been injured on a job site because of safety violations and unsafe conditions, you may be covered under Workers’ Compensation. You may also be able to receive additional compensation through a personal injury claim, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your accident and the severity of your injuries.
If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, Kaplan Lawyers PC are here to help you. Contact our experienced construction accident attorneys 24/7 to schedule a free case review.