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New York State Campaigns to Reduce Falls among Construction Workers

Falls killed more construction workers in New York City in 2010 than any other type of accident. This has led New York Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri to spearhead a campaign called “Experience is Not Enough,” which urges construction workers to use safety harnesses, guardrails and netting.

Construction Worker Falls

The New York City Department of Building reported that 42 percent of construction accidents on the city’s building sites were due to falls in 2010 and that 16 workers have died in the last three years in New York City due to falls. None of these workers were using protective equipment.

How Accidents Happen

Construction is big business in New York City and the industry ranks third in the United States for work-related deaths. Falls happen for a number of reasons. Scaffolding collapses, ladders give way, an object hits a worker and he is knocked unconscious or off balance, or he simply loses his footing.

The New Campaign

The “Experience is Not Enough” campaign, which was launched on April 25, 2011, seeks to educate workers and supervisors about using safety equipment with multilingual banners and posters. The message of the campaign is that no matter how much experience a worker has, not using safety equipment is still extremely dangerous.

New York labor laws require that employers make safety equipment available for those working on construction sites. However, there is a difference between simply having harnesses and nets available, and actually using them. It’s time to take safety seriously on the city’s building sites.