A New York City newspaper's investigation into work site accidents discovered that job site accidents increased more than 30 percent from fiscal year 2011 to 2012 while the number of injuries rose 46 percent over the same period. These statistics are alarming because enforcement of job site safety has been drastically cut back. So are these cut backs in enforcement the reason for the increase in construction accidents and injuries? From 2009 to 2012, the city's buildings department cut the number of worksite inspections by 40 percent.
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 quickly approaches, we are reminded of the heroes created in the dust and rubble of that day. Heroes - such as police officers, fireman and paramedics - who rushed to the scene with total disregard for their own safety, and only concerned about others.
While fatal construction accidents in New York City are fairly common, rarely do they result in criminal charges against the responsible parties. However, the horrific consequences of a construction error at the Deutsche Bank building prompted prosecutors to seek criminal convictions against three construction supervisors.
As we approach the 100-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, it is a great time to give pause and remember the countless deaths that occurred in New York's days of few workplace regulations. Men, women and even children - many of them immigrants - endured horrific sweatshop conditions where they risked life and limb each day to bring home meager earnings.
Master rigger William Rapetti was cleared of seven counts of manslaughter in a non-jury trial on July 22, 2010. While criminal charges have been cleared, Rapetti still faces numerous civil lawsuits.