Explaining the Staggering Rise in NYC Construction Site Accidents
New York City personal injury lawyer, Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, brings awareness to the recent rise in accidents and injuries on NYC construction sites.
New York City, NY / July 9, 2019 / -- According to a Crain’s New York Business report, the number of injuries on New York City construction sites was higher in 2018 than any other year since the start of the 2008 recession.
The report states that the number of construction site accidents was already on track in October 2018 to surpass the 650 construction site accidents that occurred in 2017. The report also states that construction site accidents in New York City have increased each year since 2014, which marked the first year of a major construction boom in the city.
While increased construction work is good for the economy and the workers who labor on new building projects, more construction often means an increased risk of serious construction accident injuries for workers and civilians.
Crain’s reports that both City Hall and the City Council have put new measures in place in an attempt to cut back on construction site injuries. Some of these measures include increased fines for violations, as well as more supervisors on construction sites.
New laws also require safety education for those who work on construction sites. The City Council passed a new law that mandates 40 hours of safety training for all construction workers.
Additionally, the New York City Department of Buildings hired another 150 inspectors to oversee safety on job sites.
Fatal NYC Construction Accidents Doubled in 2017
As Crain’s noted, construction accidents have gone up each year since 2014. Tragically, the number of deadly construction accidents has also increased.
According to data from the NYC Department of Buildings, the number of construction site injuries jumped by 17 percent in 2017, and the number of fatal construction accidents doubled.
In one fatal construction accident, a worker was electrocuted by a live wire inside a residential building. In another case, a construction worker was killed when he was struck by a piece of falling scaffolding. Throughout the year, falling debris caused injuries to 50 construction workers in the city.
Falls were also responsible for a significant number of injuries. In one case, a construction worker fell 40 feet to the ground, injuring his back and suffering a broken shoulder.
Along with falls, slips and trips caused 31 percent of deadly work injuries in New York City in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Construction Industry’s Fatal Four
Construction accidents may take many forms, but there are four types of accidents that happen so often they are also known as “construction’s fatal four.” Taken together, these four types of accident account for nearly 60 percent of all construction site accidents.
It’s quite common in New York City for construction workers to work on tall buildings with scaffolding or ladders. Falls are always a risk, which is why it’s important for construction workers to wear the appropriate safety equipment, including harnesses. Falls account for nearly 40 percent of all construction site accidents and these injuries are often devastating.
Being Struck by an Object
Construction workers and passersby on the street may be struck by a falling object on a construction site, causing a serious injury. Even a relatively small object can strike someone with a great deal of force when dropped from an elevated height. These types of accidents are responsible for over 8 percent of all construction injuries.
Most construction sites need electricity. However, when the wiring is unsafe it may lead to a worker being electrocuted, resulting in burns, amputation or even death. Electrocutions make up slightly more than 7 percent of all construction accidents.
Trapped in between objects or equipment
Workers can also get caught or trapped in between two heavy objects. For example, a worker might get pinned under a vehicle or forklift, resulting in catastrophic injuries. “Caught in between” accidents account for 5 percent of all construction site accidents, and although these accidents are not as common, the types of injuries they lead to are often the most severe.
Construction Is the Most Dangerous Job in NYC
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that construction is the most dangerous occupation in New York City. Compared to all other occupations, construction workers regularly suffer the highest number of work-related deaths.
Additional statistics reveal just how dangerous construction work is in New York City.
- Men make up 89 percent of work-related deaths in New York City.
- Falls, trips and slips account for 39 percent of fatal workplace deaths that involve men.
- Hispanics and Latinos make up 28 percent of workplace fatalities in NYC. Nationally, Hispanics and Latinos account for 18 percent of occupational deaths.
- Workers age 55 and older made up 45 percent of work-related deaths in NYC.
The construction boom in New York City will undoubtedly benefit many people and industries. However, it’s important for the city government to continue to take steps to ensure that construction workers are as safe as possible on the job. If you or a loved one have been injured on a New York City construction site, you may be entitled to compensation and should contact a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you’re in need of the best NYC construction accident lawyer in Manhattan or The Bronx, call attorney Jonathan C. Reiter at (212) 736-0979 to discuss your case.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.