According to the latest in labor statistics from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), 464 workers died in construction-related accidents in New York State in the ten-year period from 2006 to 2015. Additionally, the New York City construction sector, which employs just 3% of the city’s workforce, has the highest occupational death rate: that is 34% of all workplace deaths across various industries.
When you go to work at a construction site or walk through one, you assume that the employer has taken safety precautions and all safety measures. You assume that the construction workers have been properly trained, that the equipment is functioning correctly, and that you are not in danger. However, all too often this is not the case. In reality, tens of thousands of construction workers are injured while on the job each year – and on average over 1,000 die nationwide. In fact, 15 percent of all workers’ compensation costs are spent on workers who were injured while at a construction site.
While many of these injuries are caused by accidents, others could have been prevented if not for the carelessness or negligence of someone else. Safety regulations are commonly ignored. Dangerous equipment is not serviced. Employees are not properly trained. Dangerous areas are not marked. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that one in ten construction site workers are injured every year. The OSHA also reports that fall hazards are the leading cause of injury at construction sites.
There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also reported that while falls make up the majority of the construction site accidents, contact with equipment was also a significant cause of injury for workers. Workers between 25 and 34 years old are the most likely to be injured in a construction site accident. Additionally, most construction site injuries involve construction workers’ backs, spines, and trunks meaning that usually they are very harmful and impactful on workers’ lives and bodies.
So what can be done to prevent these types of events from occurring?
NYCOSH made 12 recommendations in their report Deadly Skyline to promote worker safety and reverse horrifying employer practices. Some of the key recommendations include:
- Holding corporations financially and legally accountable when they show a willful neglect for human lives – and an increase to repercussions for such actions, including criminal persecutions.
- Defend existing laws that protect workers and increase protection by passing the Elevator Safety Act. This act aims to train elevator workers properly and minimize accidents in that sector.
- Require the equivalent of OSHA 10 training for all New York construction workers.
- Proactively protect Latino and immigrant workers, who are at greater risk to be exploited. These groups comprise a vast majority of injuries at construction sites.
Until these types changes are made, little will be done to enhance the safety of construction workers. If you are injured on a construction job site your only recourse is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you, like so many others have been seriously injured in a construction site accident, call an experienced construction site injury lawyer today for help. The construction injury lawyers of Kalra Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to find and present compelling evidence to a judge. Call (718) 897-2211 today for a free consultation with one of our Queens construction accident lawyers today. For more information on our practice you can visit www.unionlawyer.com.