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Construction Worker Deaths in NYC Lead to Calls for New Safety Efforts

June 21, 2017 Construction Accidents

Within the past two years, a total of 33 construction workers have been killed on worksites throughout New York City. The fact that close to three dozen fatalities occurred in just a two-year period prompted an investigation by I-Team 33 into efforts that are being made by lawmakers to try to better protect workers.  NBC New York reported on the serious problems causing construction worker deaths, as well as on the steps being taken to try to help stop fatalities.

While some of the efforts to stop worker deaths on construction site have broad support, other legislation that is being proposed is more controversial.  Unfortunately, no laws that are passed can completely stop all workplace injuries and fatalities on construction sites- especially if employers continue to cut corners when it comes to safety of construction staff.

Any worker who is hurt on-the-job, whether in construction or any other field, relied on an employer to create a safe worksite and has been let down by the employer’s failure to prevent harm. Employees are generally entitled to receive benefits after any work injury through workers’ compensation, regardless of whether employers comply with their safety obligations or not. New York City construction accident lawyers can help workers who get hurt on-the-job to make a claim for benefits, so contact an attorney as soon as possible following a construction injury.

Will New Safety Efforts Reduce Construction Accident Risks?

According to NBC New York, lawmakers have made many promises to improve safety efforts on construction sites. However, those who are affected by tragic accidents on New York’s building projects don’t believe that officials are doing enough to stop preventable fatalities from happening.

One mother of a 25-year-old veteran who was killed on a construction site spoke out about the problems, indicating her son had intended to work briefly in construction before starting school when he fell down a 24-story elevator shaft on the site of a luxury hotel being constructed. He had been working for only a month when he was killed on the construction site, which was being run by a company that did not actually have a license to operate within the city of New York.

The mother claims that her son had not been taught by the construction company how to safely do his job. While the New York City Council has now approved a bill mandating better recording of where and when injuries happen, the Council has not yet approved a controversial mandate that might have ensured the 25-year-old veteran had the training he needed to avoid injury.

The controversial mandate under consideration would require that all construction workers would have to go through an apprenticeship course before beginning work. The course would be open only to individuals with a GED or high school diploma and would only be open to individuals with a work visa.  Some argue, however, that this would keep poorer applicants from working.

It remains to be seen whether lawmakers will pass any effective safety legislation that mandates better training for construction workers. Regardless, employers will still have a responsibility to ensure that construction employees aren’t at risk. If you were injured while performing your duties as an NYC construction worker, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff today to discuss your options under the law.