Building Trades

Construction Worker Fatalities On The Rise

January 26, 2017
By Neal Tepel

New York, NY -Between 2011 and 2015, construction worker fatalities in New York state rose from 33 to 55, according to “Deadly Skyline,” a study recently released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health. Of those deaths, 25 were in New York City.

The Deadly Skyline study findings note the following:

  •  New York City has the highest fatal occupational injury rate in construction, at 4.7 times the overall rate. In New York City, the construction sector sees more than one-third (34 percent) of workplace deaths, despite the fact that it employs approximately three percent of the total workforce. In Los Angeles and Chicago, where construction employs a similar proportion of the workforce, the industries see 32 percent and 24 percent of workplace deaths, respectively.
Between 2014 and 2015, building construction-related incidents involving injuries or fatalities almost doubled in New York City. In 2014 there were 231 incidents and in 2015 there were 435 -an 88 percent increase over the previous year.
  •  Falls are the top cause of construction-related deaths in New York City.In NYC, 59.4 construction-related deaths in the five years comprising 2011 to 2015 were the result of falls. The national average is 36.3 percent.
  • Of the almost 4,000 safety citations issued related to fall protection, scaffold safety, or stairway/ladder safety in the city, 46 percent related to failure by employers to take fall protection measures.

“If 30 people died at their jobs in the last two years in any other industry we wouldn’t have to fight for basic safety measures to be implemented in their workplace, but apparently for the safety of construction workers we do,” said Terry Moore Business Manager Local 46 Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Iron Workers, in a press release. “So we’re out here today doing just that, fighting for the right of every worker to make it home safely at the end of the day. The question for the administration if they choose to oppose this legislation is, How many more must die?”

January 25, 2017

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