Number of New York City Construction Injuries Rising Quickly
More New York City construction workers were injured in 2018 than in each of the two previous years. Based on data collected by the Department of Buildings (DOB), 2018 was the most dangerous year for city construction workers in nearly a decade, with 761 injuries and 12 deaths reported.
Several factors, including an increase in construction activity, might be contributing to the higher number of reported accidents, but the mayor’s office and the city council are seeking ways to reverse the trend. As the pace of building accelerates and real estate prices rise, more pressure is put on developers to complete projects quickly. The people they bring in to manage sites might not have the requisite experience and background to keep things safe for workers.
Several types of solutions are in use or under consideration, including:
- Mandatory training — As part of the 2017 Construction Safety Act, a broad measure dedicated to reducing site injuries, New York City now requires construction workers to undergo at least 30 hours of safety training. However, the DOB postponed the deadline for this training to June 1, 2019 after developers and contractors complained that the rule is too burdensome.
- Reporting standards — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has tabulated worker fatalities differently from New York City, resulting in mixed messages regarding the true extent of the problem. Now, the DOB will record all construction deaths, even those for which no code violation is found.
- Fines and enforcement — Under the new law, fines for building code violations are higher, with the charge for some major violations doubled.
No matter what measures are taken, construction hazards will exist and injuries will occur. To collect the reimbursement you deserve to cover doctors’ bills, lost wages and other expenses, it’s important to retain an attorney who has detailed knowledge of construction sites and the rules that govern them.
Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson is a New York law firm with considerable experience securing payment for construction workers in personal injury litigation and workers’ compensation claims. If you, or someone you love, has been hurt on a building, repair or demolition project, please call 888.746.8212 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.