Bronx, NY – Walk down any street in New York City, and you’ll see construction just about everywhere. From cranes to scaffolding, the city is always under construction and a constant work in progress.
In fact, there are around 45,000 construction sites in New York City on a daily basis. In 2017, the Department of Buildings issued over 168,000 construction permits. The construction industry has numerous benefits, including improving infrastructure and bringing jobs to the city. However, construction is always a dangerous industry for workers.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction is the most dangerous industry in the city. One statistic from the BLS puts the problem into stark perspective: Construction workers account for just five percent of the city’s workforce, but they make up 27 percent of all employment-related injuries.
Furthermore, construction workers in New York City have fatality rates that are five times higher than every other industry in the city.
Top Causes of Fatal NYC Construction Accidents
Although construction accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, certain types of construction accidents occur more often than others.
In fact, there are four types of construction accidents that tend to result in fatalities. These four categories of accidents are so serious, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to them as the “deadly four” among all construction accidents.
- Falls – In 2017, falls accounted for over 39 percent of construction worker deaths. The majority of construction-related falls in New York City involve scaffolding accidents.
- Struck by accidents – Struck by accidents, which made up 8 percent of construction worker fatalities, can happen when an object falls from a scaffold. Even a small tool dropped from a tall building can cause a serious injury or death if it strikes someone on the ground.
- Electrocutions – Electrocutions accounted for 7 percent of construction worker deaths in 2017. Workers can experience numerous injuries due to electrocutions including serious burns, amputations, and in the worst cases death.
- Crushing/caught-between accidents – Crushing and caught in between accidents caused 5 percent of deaths in the construction industry in 2017. Crushing accidents can happen when a construction worker is caught between two pieces of machinery or trapped between building materials. Crushing injuries and deaths have also occurred when a worker falls in an elevator shaft.
On New York City construction sites, falls are by far the most common cause of fatal accidents. About 25 percent of falls on construction sites happen when a worker falls from a scaffold. Falls may also happen when a worker slips from a ladder or a roof.
Construction workers may also be injured or killed due to motor vehicle accidents, burns, and weather-related injuries, such as heat exhaustion in the summer and hypothermia and frostbite in the winter.
NYC Construction Accident Fatalities on the Rise
According to the Department of Buildings, the number of construction injuries and deaths increased in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. The data shows that accidents overall jumped by 18.4 percent, and construction injuries climbed by 17 percent. The number of construction fatalities doubled, increasing from four fatalities to eight.
The highest number of construction accidents, injuries, and deaths occurred in Manhattan, and half of all construction-related deaths happened in Manhattan.
Construction industry experts say the number of serious and fatal construction accidents is likely to increase, as the city has been experiencing a building boom in recent years. Between January 2018 and May 2018, the city saw $15 billion in construction activity.
Preventing Construction Accident Fatalities
Construction accident injuries and deaths are so frustrating because the vast majority of them are entirely preventable. Statistics show that construction worker deaths decrease when construction managers and supervisors adhere to the proper safety standards.
Unfortunately, in the rush to complete a project or save money, some construction companies and supervisors cut corners when it comes to worker safety.
What to Do When a Loved One Is Killed in a NYC Construction Accident
New York has special laws, including Sections 240 and 241 of the New York Labor Law, governing construction accidents. These laws give special rights to injured construction/demolition workers and their families to recover damages for their injuries or death.
Under New York law, the executor or administrator of the deceased worker has the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family members of the worker. Because construction accident and wrongful death claims can be quite complicated, it’s always in a person’s best interests to discuss their case with an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer.
Compensation for a NYC Construction Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site, discuss your case with a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter and his team of Manhattan construction accident lawyers have dedicated their careers to serving construction accident victims in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and throughout the state of New York. Call (212) 736-0979 or schedule a free consultation with our office located in The Empire State Building today.
Jonathan C. Reiter is a top New York attorney who handles truck accidents, MTA, taxi accidents, bus accidents, wrongful death, aviation accidents, airline injuries & death, medical malpractice, doctor errors, and construction cases. Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter consistently delivers results.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.