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The Current State of Construction Accidents in NYC

October 5, 2018 Construction Accidents

Construction is a requirement for any large city to keep functioning smoothly, and New York City is no exception. Construction projects big and small, however, can expose workers and passersby to serious health and safety hazards. Construction accidents in New York City take lives and leave others permanently injured every year. The more you learn about the state of construction accidents in NYC, the better you can protect your rights after a related injury.

NYC Construction Site Accident Statistics

Hundreds of ongoing construction projects dot the streets of New York City. From Rockaway Beach Boulevard safety improvements to the $20 million reconstructions of the DUMBO/Vinegar Hill Street and Plaza, projects abound to improve the safety and functionality of NYC’s streets and buildings. Unfortunately, so many construction projects also increase the risk of worker, driver, and pedestrian accidents. A few of the most recent injury statistics are as follows:

  • In 2016, 991 construction workers died on the job throughout the U.S., according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Falls were the top cause of death, with 384 worker fatalities.
  • In 2017, 666 construction workers suffered injuries and 12 died in work-related accidents in New York City, according to reports from the New York City government.
  • The top cause of construction worker death in NYC in 2017 was falls, with nine fatalities, followed by other incidents with two deaths, and falling material (one death).
  • Manhattan reported the highest number of construction accidents in 2017, with 407 injuries and seven fatalities.
  • The deadliest month of the year for construction workers in NYC was June, with 85 injuries and deaths. The second-highest was October, with 73 injuries and deaths.
  • So far, 2018 has been deadlier for NYC construction workers than the same time period last year. As of September 2018, 10 NYC construction workers have died and 603 suffered injuries.

OSHA states that construction is the deadliest industry in the country year after year. Construction workers face significant health and safety risks on the job, including transportation accidents, falls, acts of violence, and heavy machinery. However, construction workers aren’t the only ones at risk of construction accidents. Drivers and pedestrians who must maneuver through NYC construction zones can also sustain serious or fatal injuries due to unsafe conditions.

Non-Worker Construction Site Injuries

Driving through a construction zone can present many different dangers to drivers: new and unexpected traffic patterns, strange detours, construction equipment, and workers too close to the road, bright lights, loud noises, confusing signs, new speed limits, and debris left in the road could all cause traffic accidents. The same is true for pedestrians in NYC who must walk through active construction projects. Falling equipment and materials, cracked sidewalks, hidden trenches, poorly built scaffolds, and collapsing structures or cranes can all seriously injure pedestrians.

If you suffer an injury while driving or walking through an NYC construction zone, you may have grounds to file an injury claim against the construction company, a product manufacturer, a property owner, and/or a third party. The construction company could be liable for your medical bills and other losses if it should have done something to prevent the incident, such as better train workers. Working with an attorney can optimize your odds of a successful claim.

If you were one of the hundreds of NYC construction workers with a serious work-related injury, consider your options through both the workers’ compensation system and the civil justice system in New York. Workers’ compensation doesn’t require you to prove anyone else’s fault for your accident, but you could receive less money than through a personal injury claim against your negligent employer. You may have grounds to file through both systems if someone other than your employer caused the injuries. A lawyer can help you determine your rights after an NYC construction site accident.