Lever & Ecker, PLLC May 23, 2017 Construction Accidents
Earlier this year, a study released in January discovered some troubling statistics regarding construction workers and the number of safety inspections being conducted at their sites.
Due to the ongoing “building boom” happening around the city, construction-related accidents and fatalities within the city have risen a concerning amount. According to a report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, construction related deaths have risen from “17 in 2011 to 25 in 2015” within the city, and “33 to 55” around the state as a whole.
While deaths and injuries continue to climb, the number of safety inspections being conducted in New York, and its surrounding areas have continued to fall with each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has conducted nearly 27% fewer safety inspections from 2011 to 2015 (2,722 in 2011 to 1,966 in 2015).
It is feared that the reductions in nation-wide regulations under the new presidency of Donald Trump, injuries and fatalities around the nation due to construction may continue to rise.
Within the city of New York, nearly 60% of all worker related deaths have been related to falls. This number is staggeringly higher than the national number of 36%.
Many relate this staggering percentage to the falling number of inspections happening around the city. In effect, many of the accidents and fatalities that occur should have and could have been prevented.
The NYCOSH has found recently that nearly 70% of sites visited by an inspector garnered either one or numerous citations.
Even more concerning, the most recent stats gathered by NYCOSH found that most fatalities occurred at sites that were nonunion and “severe” violations or repeat offenders were nonunion sites 93% of the time.
A 28-year-old foreman for a nonunion construction company in New York was severely injured by steel rebar while on the job. Unfortunately for the worker, an ambulance was not called and he was driven to the hospital by a coworker who told doctors he had tripped in an off-site incident. Four days after the incident the worker was fired.
Workers are now being told by their companies that if they don’t like the fact that the safety guidelines are not followed, that they will be replaced with someone else.
A package of proposed safety bills has been been presented to the city council with measures that require: fall-safety protections and heightened penalties for repeat offenders of violations.
Too many workers have not returned home in recent years and many are starting to rise up. Rallies and protests have been organized around the state in order to demand safer work sites for workers in union and nonunion construction jobs.
Construction work is an outstandingly dangerous profession, especially within the confines of New York and New York City. The state, as well as federal law, requires a “safe” working environment, but as statistics show, these are not living up to expectations. Almost weekly, people are being severely injured or killed while on the job and many of these accidents are preventable.
Many construction workers should be able to obtain workers compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job. Many workers are at risk of losing their job if they are seriously hurt and cannot return to their job for a significant amount of time in which case, insufficient, or no compensation occurs.
If a worker employed by a company is injured by the negligence of someone working for another company, liability beyond workers’ compensation can exist. This is what’s considered to be third party liability. When this occurs, the worker who was injured can pursue both a workers’ compensation case as well as a separate independent case against the company that caused the injury through a construction accident lawyer.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC and our New York Construction Accident Lawyers in White Plains know and understand the complexity and difficulty of these situations and will fight for you. If you are hurt in a construction accident such as the ones below, please give us a call: