Because New York State is a residential and business hub, construction work is plentiful. It seems that there are always homes, commercial buildings, schools and more being built. In addition, repairs and refurbishments are prevalent. While that is a positive for those who work in the construction industry, it is also known how dangerous this type of work is. With the large tools, heavy machinery, working at great heights and the need to trust others to follow basic safety procedures, there is inherent risk of construction accidents. Workers and passersby can be impacted. It is important to be aware of statistical trends for accidents.
A troubling percentage of workplace deaths are in the construction industry
Recently, statistics about construction accidents in New York State were released. They were accrued by various entities including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the New York Department of Buildings. According to the numbers, New York construction workers face the highest risk of a fatal accident across the nation. The latest numbers were from 2020. That year, 41 workers were killed on the job. This was less than in 2019, but it might be partially explained by the ongoing national challenges that put a stop to many projects. The fatality rate is key and it went up in 2020.
Overall, nearly one-quarter of workplace deaths in New York happen on construction sites. Nationally, construction work accounts for 21% of work fatalities. A noted problem that is believed to have contributed to the number of fatalities was a lack of OSHA inspections. The most vulnerable demographic was in the Latino community which accounted for 18% of the deaths while only comprising 10% of the population. Non-union sites were a hotbed for fatalities with 80% of deaths happening in these situations. A recommendation to encourage employers to care for workers is to expand the Scaffold Law and hold employers accountable if they do not provide a sufficiently safe workplace.
After construction site injuries and death, the accident must be fully investigated
Any accident in which people are injured or a family loses a loved one can present a litany of obstacles to navigate. Lost companionship, medical expenses and lost income are at the forefront. Often, construction site accident injuries and fatalities happen because of negligence on the part of the employer or colleagues. There might have been a malfunction or proper safety equipment and training was not provided. With these incidents, it is critical to have assistance in assessing the situation and deciding what steps to take. Discussing the case with those experienced in construction accidents may be helpful.