New York, NY -The New York construction sector may soon join the ranks of the world’s “most dangerous jobs”. Although the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) http://www.nycosh.org/ reported an overall decrease in workplace fatalities, the fatality and injury rate in the workplace, particularly in construction, is still at a dangerously high level.
The New York Daily News is reporting that at just one Brooklyn area high-rise construction site, an unacceptable number of serious workplace injuries have been reported, along with dozens of other violations filed against the worksite by New York workplace safety officials. The 111 Lawrence St., Brooklyn high-rise construction site was slapped with twelve stop-work orders, citing job contractors with 38 violations of unsafe working conditions, falling objects, and fire hazards. Ronald McGovern, a laborer on the Brooklyn jobsite, fell three stories after a full load of steel bars hoisted by a jobsite crane struck him, causing the construction worker to lose his balance. McGovern, who was not wearing a safety harness, miraculously survived with non-fatal injuries.
In the month of November 2008 alone the hazardous Brooklyn jobsite was cited with three stop-work orders. The first was for illegally storing a hydraulic climbing unit at the top of a crane, causing excessive tower movement, the second for allowing a 13,000-pound counterweight to hang over an occupied building, and the last for failure to safely hoist and rig a jobsite crane.
NYCOSH, a non-profit coalition dedicated to protecting the right of every worker to have a safe and healthful work environment, has recently released a report shedding light on New York’s shocking workplace injury and fatality statistics. NYCOSH claims, the number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) http://www.osha.gov/ inspectors assigned to New York State is inadequate to properly protect construction workers, stating the government agency had fewer inspectors in the state in 2007 than in 2001. Shockingly, OSHA’s proposed fines resulting from a fatality inspection in the state of New York average a mere $5,193, hardly a slap on the wrist to construction companies who violated OSHA standards that may have caused a worker’s death.
In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) http://www.bls.gov/, states in New York City alone, most fatalities in the workplace occurred in the construction sector, with fifty-seven worker deaths in 2007. Out of those fifty-seven fatalities, twenty-one of them were falls to a lower level, the most frequent type of workplace fatality. Also in 2007, the construction industry in New York City is responsible for 30 percent of all industry workplace deaths. Construction accounted for 21 percent of all workplace deaths nationally, leading all other sectors with 1,178 injuries resulting in death.
Media Contact: New York personal injury lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter a construction accident attorney. Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2811, New York, NY 10118. Telephone (212) 736-0979. www.jcreiterlaw.com