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Penalties to construction companies rise as worker deaths spike

Construction is one of New York’s more prominent industries. It seems that there are always ongoing commercial and residential projects, whether it is to build a new structure, refurbish an existing one or to make repairs. This is beneficial to the city and people who are involved in the industry—especially construction workers.

However, that does not eliminate its dangers. One of the riskiest types of employment for injuries and death is construction. Given the requirements of the job, this is no surprise.

Despite greater attentiveness to safety and the threat of sanction from lawmakers and safety agencies, the problems persist. With the litany of challenges that accompany a construction accident, it is imperative for people who have been hurt and their loved ones to have help.

In 2022, New York had its highest number of construction fatalities in five years

The most recent statistics from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration showed that New York had 22 construction fatalities in 2022. This is the highest total in five years. A recently-passed law strives to hold construction companies more accountable if they were criminally negligent and a worker was injured or died because of it.

The new law is called Carlos’ Law. The name stems from an immigrant worker who was killed in a trench accident. Companies who are found culpable will be fined as much as $500,000. The 22-year-old was working for a non-union contractor when the accident happened in 2015. The contractor was fined $10,000.

Construction work is prevalent and some companies take advantage of people who need the employment. Often, they are unaware of safety rules or just accept that the potential dangers are part of the job. This negatively impacts immigrants and people who have had run-ins with the law. More than half of construction workers were immigrants in 2021.

After a construction accident, experienced help can be vital

Construction work can be rewarding with good pay and benefits. There is also the sense of accomplishment from completing a project. Still, the availability of the work and the upside should not be a factor in workers having a safe environment.

That includes being properly trained, companies ensuring there is sufficient oversight, all the necessary safety equipment is provided and they do everything possible to make sure accidents can be kept to a minimum.

When there is a construction accident, people can suffer spinal cord damage, brain trauma, lost limbs, broken bones, soft tissue injuries and more. This is a financial and personal hardship that must be addressed. Those who were hurt or lost a loved one must be protected with guidance from professionals who understand all aspects of construction site accidents.

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