February 23, 2016 • Construction Accidents
You would think that job safety is something that gets better over time. Every year, federal safety agencies and other groups work hard to promote safety practices in the workplace and more data about the biggest risks in various industries is made available for review. Still, workplace safety is not immune to some of the dangerous trends that can leave workers exposed to a greater chance of having a severe or serious accident.
One illustration of this is in a prominent story from this past November in Crain’s New York Business. The story begins with the chilling tale of a worker who fell five floors down an elevator shaft in a Fordham University annex building in which he was working.
Writer Joe Anuta conceded that working in construction in New York City has always involved its share of risks. Citing 30 fatalities in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, 5 for the Empire State building and 60 for the World Trade Center, the article also suggests that, compared to the past few years, construction site work in and around the city seems to be getting profoundly less safe.
Anuta contended that work injuries this year in New York City are double what they were in 2008, while fatalities are down to about one-third of 2008 totals, by some estimates. He also talked about how OSHA views many of the worst accidents as preventable and, as shown in this particular narrative, falls are one of the biggest categories of fatalities. Safety experts point out that many of these deaths are easily avoided by using personal protective equipment, such as a work harness that’s in good condition and properly installed.
Anuta’s article also went deeper into some of the issues around the current injury trend, pointing out, for example, the debate between whether union worksites are safer than non-union sites; how safety authorities have limited enforcement due to a scarcity of resources; and how work on buildings under 10 stories tends to get less scrutiny, even though many of the same dangers exist.
In the end, part of what stories like this one reveal is that many New York City workers are getting the short end of the stick. A construction boom is very lucrative for companies, but things are not as good for the people who have to actually do the work because in the mad rush to maintain deadlines and secure capital, human safety too often gets overlooked.
Personal injury attorneys in New York understand that their role is to protect injured workers. They help their clients use all of their rights under the law to pursue compensation for their injuries after an accident.
New York workers harmed in the course of a construction job can call the Law Offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. We are experienced in working on personal injury and wrongful death cases within the state of New York. Let us help you evaluate a personal injury claim and move forward according to applicable local, state and federal law.