New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

NY Construction Death Toll Continues to Rise

Posted on Jan 5, 2018 in Construction Accidents

Construction work is dangerous work, with employees in this industry facing high rates of injuries and fatalities. When accidents occur, New York City construction accident lawyers should be consulted by injured victims or by family members of deceased construction workers. Those who have been hurt or who have suffered losses through injuries on construction sites have legal rights.

Unfortunately, there has been a big increase in recent years in the number of construction workers coping with serious injuries and the number of families who lose loved ones in construction accidents.

As Real Estate Weekly explains, the construction death toll has continued to rise in New York City even as new safety initiatives are put in place in response to the growing number of fatal accidents driven by increased construction activity in New York.

Death Toll Rising Among Construction Workers

As Real Estate Weekly explains, from January to December 2017, nine construction workers lost their lives on job sites doing construction work in the New York City area. This statistic comes from the Department of Buildings. In 2016, there were a total of 12 fatalities among construction workers and this same number of deaths also occurred in 2015. In 2014, there were just eight fatalities among construction workers over the course of the year.

One of the construction workers killed, a 34-year-old worker, lost his life after being struck in the head by a piece of metal that fell off scaffolding at a building site located at 61 Ninth Avenue. The building where he had been working had received repeated previous violations from the Department of Buildings, including one violation in September indicating that the site had no adequate safety equipment and no safety measures in place at the 10-story building under construction.

Tragic stories like this one illustrate the very real human cost of construction workers being killed while they are supposed to be performing tasks at work. In response to this fatality, the ninth of the year in the New York City area, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York indicated: “Construction is a dangerous industry, yet once again, today’s accident underscores the need to ensure all sites are safe for workers and the public alike.”

In response to the rising death toll, the construction industry called for new safety measures to be implemented. This led to the passage of the Intro 1447 bill, which was signed into law in October. The bill was supported by many industry groups including the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the AFL-CIO. However, some advocacy groups felt the bill did not go far enough to address key concerns.

While the bill aimed to improve conditions, there have still been far too many deaths in New York. Hopefully, in the upcoming year, when the Act’s new safety regulations are fully in effect all year, the death toll will finally go down.  However, when fatalities occur on construction sites, the families of victims should consult with New York City construction accident lawyers to understand their rights and take action.

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