April signals the true birth of spring across both the Northeast and the Midwest. At this time of year, trees and flowers are beginning to bloom, birds have returned from their winter homes and people flood the streets, parks and worksites of the city in ways that are neither practical nor generally possible during the coldest months of the year.
We have previously written about the fact that risk of falls on construction sites is a very real hazard faced by New York construction workers on a daily basis. Because fall injuries can be fatal, it is imperative that employers and workers alike make efforts to ensure that falls on construction sites are prevented.
We have previously discussed the fact that construction is one of the most dangerous American occupations. Construction workers complete astounding, necessary work on a daily basis, all while understanding that they are at a higher risk of injury and death on the job than most other workers. There are numerous occupational hazards that threaten the safety of all construction workers in New York. However, one group of workers is far more likely to be involved in fatal construction accidents than others and this reality needs to change immediately.
There is little point in providing protective gear to construction workers if they do not use it. Especially when it comes to preventing fall injuries, it is critical that workers actually use their gear consistently and properly. However, many workers fail to use this gear because they believe that it slows down their productivity. Even more disturbing is the fact that some employers fail to outfit their workers with protective gear for the same reason.
The parents of worker killed by a crane have been awarded $1 million in the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit. The couple's 30-year-old son was working for Yonkers Contracting when the cable on a crane snapped. The cane then collapsed and crushed the young worker.
Safety advances have been made within the construction industry that make nearly every fatal fall preventable. In addition, federal regulations insist that these safety advances be properly utilized. Tragically, fatal accidents involving falls from relatively great heights continue to occur over and over again on an annual basis. In most of these instances, employers fail to outfit their workers with proper safety equipment and/or fail to implement other mandatory safety precautions.
Laws and regulations that set out safety standards for construction sites in New York City are not created to annoy, to cause delays in projects or to add undue expense to developers. Safety laws and regulations are enacted to protect those who work on the site as well as those who may travel near the site from construction accidents that cause injury.