Construction is a booming business throughout New York. Improvements in safety procedures have been successful in reducing the number of injuries and fatalities that happen on construction sites. However, there is always a lingering risk of people being hurt when doing that kind of work. The heavy equipment, working at substantial heights, large vehicles and more can put the pieces in place for there to be accidents. Statistics are important to determine where the dangers are and the latest information has some sobering news that a construction worker and his or her family should be cognizant of.
Throughout New York, construction is seemingly constant. This is a positive as it provides jobs and other benefits. However, concerns about safety are ever-present and one of the most dangerous jobs that anyone can do is in construction. With the heavy machinery, working on scaffolds and ladders at great heights, and the large tools that are inherent with construction work, a construction worker accident can happen for a variety of reasons. Research has found that the number of construction accidents have been rising in a worrisome fashion.
When thinking about construction accidents and the dangers that a construction worker might face in New York, the immediate thought turns to constructing tall buildings, working on a roof, being stationed at great heights and dealing with heavy machinery. However, road workers who are doing necessary construction to build, maintain and repair the state's infrastructure are in substantial jeopardy of being in an accident - perhaps more than other construction workers. Needing to navigate roadwork with drivers who might not pay attention to the dangers can lead to a construction worker accident and injuries. It can even cause death. Those who have been hurt must remember they are likely entitled to workers' compensation.
The hazards of working at a construction site are significant and when proper precautions are not taken New York workers can suffer injuries and death. There are a number of different ways that worksite deficiencies can cause injury-producing construction site accidents and this post will only touch on some of them. The information contained herein is not comprehensive on the topic of construction site accidents and should not be used as legal guidance.
New York State’s Scaffold Law has repeatedly been targeted by business interests for elimination that is often mislabeled as "reform." They argue that the law drives up construction costs and makes it more difficult for women and minorities to get into construction work, Assembly member Phil Steck wrote recently in Albany's Times Union.
Forklifts can cause severe or fatal injuries if not used with the necessary care. Construction accidents involving lift trucks are frequent, and one such an incident claimed the life of a New York worker on a recent Tuesday. According to the Department of Buildings, several open investigations are pending for safety violations on this construction site.
The ever-growing population and the fact that many people live longer creates a need for more and improved facilities to provide health care services in New York and elsewhere. Because many projects involve construction on existing facilities, extra precautions must be taken to prevent serious injuries to patients, medical staff and construction workers. Careful planning is essential when expansions or renovations must take place where patients cannot be vacated.
Authorities want New York State to adopt a similar level of workplace safety standards as that of New York City. A recent study indicates that fatalities in construction accidents in the city numbered only 21 in 2016 -- four less than in the previous year. In contrast, the number of construction worker deaths that occurred in the remainder of the state in 2016 was 71, which is 16 more than in 2015, and the highest in 14 years.
Exposure to height hazards is par for the course in the construction industry, and employers must protect workers from all known dangers. Falls remain the cause of a significant percentage of severe injuries and fatalities in construction accidents in New York and elsewhere. In many cases, victims were not equipped with fall protection.
Scaffolding can be life-threatening structures, and related safety regulations are strict. Many injuries in construction accidents result from collapsing scaffolds or falls from scaffolds due to safety violations. Victims of scaffolding accidents in New York may suffer long-term consequences.