Construction is One of the Most Dangerous Industries in NYC
The construction industry remains to be the most deadly industry in the U.S. In New York City alone, the private construction sector had the most deaths, 24 total, in 2019. According to the yearly report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) titled Deadly Skyline, OSHA violations committed by contractors directly coincide with the deaths of construction workers and further highlight that most of the deaths could have been prevented.
The report also stated that construction is among the most dangerous industries in the entire country, accounting for 19% or 1,061 deaths out of 5,333 deaths in 2019, despite construction workers only making up 4% of the country’s workforce.
Hispanic Deaths Account for Most Construction Worker Fatalities in New York
Construction deaths accounted for about 25% of all New York worker fatalities. While the government often measures the city’s progress by using various developments and projects, progress typically occurs at a deadly cost, and it is the construction workers that are paying the price. The report found that Hispanic deaths make up a high percentage of worker deaths in the state.
This statistic is particularly disconcerting because only about 10% of construction workers in the state are Hispanic. However, the Hispanic workers who died in construction sites last 2019 make up 20.5% of all construction worker fatalities. The report also found that this high death toll among Hispanic construction workers in the state can be attributed to the fact that employers who intentionally violate and deny health and safety protections routinely exploit Hispanic workers. The reason being that these mostly immigrant workers don’t usually report employer violations for fear of retaliation.
The Need for Safe Construction Sites in NYC
Making safer construction sites is possible. But to do this, researchers of the report suggest the following:
- Requiring proper training and certification for construction workers.
- Defending and expanding the relevant protective legislation by preserving the scaffold safety law and passing Carlos’ law to raise penalties for criminally negligent contractors.
- Utilizing existing regulations for revoking or suspending construction permits and licenses for criminal contractors
- Expanding criminal prosecutions of criminal contractors.
- Increasing the role of the state to protect and ensure the safety of all construction workers given the inadequacies of the federal OSHA guidelines.
Learn How Our Experienced NYC Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help
New York provides specific regulations for addressing the unique hazards that construction workers face daily. They are regularly subject to hazardous conditions and potentially severe injuries. When workers get injured, they are covered by their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. However, this is often inadequate to cover the serious injuries that arise at construction sites.
Likewise, construction sites are typically managed by numerous employers, including contractors and their subcontractors. Usually, one or more of these parties play a role in contributing to injuries of a non-employee who’s contracted by someone else on the construction site. But what you need to remember is that you are entitled to seek fair compensation if you were hurt in a construction site accident. Contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman P.C. to arrange a free consultation of your case with one of our NYC construction accident lawyers to learn more. Call us at 212-285-3300 or contact us online for more info.