New York City Construction Accident Numbers Jumped In 2014

Official 2014 construction accident injury data is in from the New York City Department of Buildings.

It would seem that in these modern times construction workers should be able to feel safer on construction sites, with advances in safety practices and equipment design. Sadly, this is not so. In New York City, with its constant building and infrastructure rejuvenation, construction projects are always underway, and safety statistics are grim.

City Limits recently reported about New York City Department of Buildings statistics showing that the number of construction mishaps in the five boroughs jumped from 186 in 2013 to 231 in 2014, causing eight fatalities and 237 injured workers.

The report provides details of each of New York City's construction accidents from the year 2014.

Notably, the most common cause of construction accidents that year in New York City was gravity: One-quarter involved equipment or debris falling onto a worker and almost 40 percent involved a worker physically falling, according to City Limits.

And gravity-related construction accidents are continuing into 2015. For example, the New York Times reported that a 12-ton air-conditioning unit fell 30 stories after it dropped from a crane onto Madison Avenue, ripping holes in the building (from which more debris fell) as it bounced downward and injured 10 people.

What Is The Scaffold Law?

New York has a unique, century-old law that recognizes the gravity-related dangers to construction workers in such a dense city of skyscrapers: the Scaffold Law. Under the law, contractors and property owners become absolutely liable if they fail to provide required safety devices related to an elevated work site and a worker is injured as a result.

The law applies to gravity-related harm and generally involves either a worker falling from a height, or debris, equipment, building materials or anything else at the site falling onto the worker.

The Scaffold Law is important in that it creates a special legal duty on the part of those owning or controlling construction sites to make them safe from gravity-related mishaps. For example, workers can fall from ladders, scaffolding, catwalks and more. Workers can also fall through an unprotected hole or opening to a lower level. Floors and ceilings under construction can collapse. Equipment, supplies and debris can break loose and fall.

Seek The Legal Advice You Need

Any construction worker injured on the job in New York should seek the advice and representation of an experienced construction law attorney. Legal counsel can advise the worker about his or her legal options, including a possible Scaffold Law suit.

The attorneys at Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., have vast experience representing clients injured in the construction industry in New York City. Contact the firm.

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