There has been a substantial increase in the number of construction-related accidents and injuries in New York. As the construction industry has improved, increased development has helped to drive the rise in accident rates. More construction, however, should not mean more injuries or more fatalities if proper safety precautions are followed.
The commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings has stated that many of the construction-related accidents “were avoidable.” Unfortunately, developers and construction employers failed to follow reasonable safety precautions to protect their workers.
When a worker gets hurt on a construction site, a New York workers’ compensation law firm should be consulted for help. An attorney can provide assistance to injured victims or to surviving family members of someone who is killed on-the-job. Victims should be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits that cover medical bills and provide disability income, while family members can receive death benefits and payment of funeral expenses.
Commercial Observer reported on the troubling rise of construction-related accidents and injuries over the course of 2015. In 2014, there were 231 accidents over the course of the calendar year. By contrast, in 2015, there were 323 accidents. This is a 39.8 percent spike in the number of accidents that occurred. The increase in injuries was even higher. In 2014, there were 246 injuries while the number of injuries rose 44.7 percent to 356 in 2015.
The rise in accidents and injuries occurred across all boroughs, except for the Bronx where there was one less accident in 2015 as compared with in 2014. Manhattan was the site of the largest number of both accidents and injuries for both 2014 and 2015. There were 221 injuries in Manhattan in 2014, and 236 injuries in Manhattan in 2015, which is a 34 percent rise in injuries that occurred on construction sites within Manhattan. There was also an increase in fatalities, as well as a rise in the number of accidents and the number of injuries.
In response to a series of deaths on construction sites last year, 44 construction companies came together to call for improvements in construction site safety at construction sites in the United States. The commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings also stated that in response to the increase in preventable accidents and injuries: “the department has developed an ambitious plan to improve safety at construction sites.”
It is every construction site operator’s responsibility to ensure that safety rules are being followed and ensure that preventable injuries and deaths do not occur. Any time a worker is hurt at any construction site, the worker should know his or her rights to receive benefits.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can represent injured workers and family members of workers who have died due to an incident on a construction site. Workers should not have to bear the financial burden of the irresponsibility of construction site owners and developers, and attorneys can help make sure workers get the benefits they deserve. Contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff for immediate assistance with your case.