Construction is a major industry in New York. With that come concerns about construction safety. While the work is plentiful, lucrative and people who are in the industry take pride in what they have accomplished, there is no denying its dangers. Construction is one of the riskiest industries because of the basic requirements. Workers need to be at great heights, use heavy tools, and trust that colleagues and employers will adhere to safety standards. Unfortunately, accidents still happen and people can face myriad challenges because of it. Whether it involves injuries or loss of life, those dealing with the aftermath should think about what they will need to do to address the inevitable problems that will arise.
NYCOSH releases construction fatality numbers for New York
The New York Committee for Occupational Health and Safety issued a report with the ominous title “Deadly Skyline.” In it, the number of construction fatalities for the most recently analyzed year, 2020, were discussed. It found that more than 1 in 5 worker fatalities in New York City and almost one-quarter in New York State occurred in the construction industry. Nationally, it was 21%. Troublingly, 2020 was an outlier in that almost all construction work was slowed or halted that year. Even though there was a reduction in projects, the fatality rates were relatively high in the Empire State.
In 2020, the New York City construction worker fatality rates for 2020 did decline by 40%. For New York State, they increased by 9%. Of course, this needs to be put into the context of the national challenges. They might not be a clear window into dangers and accident numbers. In nearly all cases in which there was a construction death – 97% – there was an Occupational Safety and Health Administration violation found after an inspection. This can involve a lack of safety initiatives, missed training and other issues.
Construction fatalities are such a concern that lawmakers are striving to improve the way fatalities are counted so they can address the safety problems that might have led to the accidents. A bill made it necessary for employers to issue information to the New York State Department of Labor if there is a fatality on the job.
After a construction accident, those impacted should have advice
Since many construction workers are younger and have many years ahead of them, a job-related injury can leave them dealing with long-term medical expenses, lost income and the need for family members to pick up the slack in a litany of ways. When there is a fatality, those left behind could be left wondering what they will do. The process with investigating and determining a path forward can be confusing, especially for people for whom English might be a second language and they are unfamiliar with the legal terrain. Regardless of the cause of the construction accident, those who were hurt or lost a loved one need to know what they can do in the aftermath. If there was a lapse in training or safety, that could be a fundamental aspect of a case. Other problems might be evident. Talking to experienced people in the realm of construction accidents can provide information with the available options.