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Construction Site Accidents Continue to Plague the City of New York

By Thomas P. Giuffra

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the construction industry has more deaths than any other industry in New York City. Furthermore, New York City data indicates deaths occurring on construction worksites are up 33 percent and injuries are up 221% when compared to five years ago.

Construction within the five boroughs is on the rise as the Big Apple climbs out of the morass caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Unfortunately, so do the accidents that accompany the rise in construction.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have indicated that the four most prevalent construction site accidents include construction site falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in between equipment and/or objects related to construction.

Falls are by far the most common and the most fatal of construction site accidents.  A total of 5 construction workers lost their lives on the job in New York City between April 1st and June 31st . Since 2015, this is only the second time that construction fatalities recorded by the NYC Department of Buildings during the second quarter reached such a high number. The other time was in 2019. 2 fatalities occurred in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, one in the Bronx and one in Queens. 3 of the fatalities were falls and two were related to mechanical construction equipment.

In 2018, OSHA reported 338 out of 1,008 total deaths (33.5%) in the construction industry were attributed to falls. This is not insignificant. Many of these falls occur to construction workers falling off scaffolding or staging, roofs, ladders, girders, structural steel, or heavy equipment. They can also occur when workers fall through floors from elevated areas of the construction site.

According to OSHA, 11% of workers are injured when they are struck by an object-that could be from discarded or falling debris or equipment failures.

Construction site accidents are preventable failures that are largely due to mechanical failures, human errors, or a disregard for worker safety. Any accident that causes a hard-working construction employee to suffer injury or death is unacceptable. If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction site accident, contact the attorneys at Rheingold, Guiffra, Ruffo, Plotkin & Hellman for a free initial consultation. 

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