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Fatal injuries among NYC construction workers: What the stats say

Though New York City is enjoying a construction boom, workers continue to die on job sites throughout the city. According to a 2017 report on the City of New York's website, entitled Fatal Injuries among New York City Construction Workers, construction accidents happen at a rate that has a significant impact on the families of workers.

The research behind the report examined data from 2007 to 2014. During this period, 159 construction workers lost their lives on the job through preventable circumstances. That's an average of about 20 deaths per year. It is important to understand that construction work does not appear to be getting much safer.


Notable statistics

In looking at NYC fatal accident statistics from the 2007-2014 period, we noticed several important findings:

  • Out of the 159 construction deaths during that period, 144 deaths were caused by unintentional injury.
  • Of the 144 fatalities, 58 percent were attributed to falls, while the second most common causes of fatality were crushing, being struck or being caught between objects.
  • One or more serious safety violations were found to have existed in more than 90 percent of the fatality cases (a sobering 82 out of 91) that were investigated by OSHA.
  • The two most common types of safety violations cited by OSHA related to training and fall protection.
  • The Federal Bureau of Labor found that 27 percent of NYC workplace fatalities were attributed to construction workers, who made up only about 5 percent of the city's overall workforce. So, in a sense, it was about five times more dangerous to be a construction worker than to be a worker in general.

Accidents affect families

We should remember that these statistics are not just numbers; they represent tragic, life-changing events for workers and their loved ones. If one of your family members has experienced a serious or fatal accident at work, it is essential to obtain legal advice from an attorney you trust. Injured workers and their families may be entitled to significant money damages.

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    $2.1 million settlement

    for 33-year old electrician who fell from ladder while attempting to fit heavy cable into crown box when cable sprung back and struck him, causing him to suffer left shoulder injury with impingement.

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    $1.6 million settlement

    for 38-year old electrician who slipped and fell on debris on stairway with resulting cervical herniated disc and aggravation of pre-existing arthritic changes.

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    $2.55 million settlement

    for 42-year old electrician who fell into an uncovered, unprotected hole and suffered a severe low back injury with herniated disc(s) that required surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.

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    $1.75 million settlement

    for 26-year old construction worker who fell through opening in roof and fractured his wrist, requiring surgery with open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation device, and eventual fusion.

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    $2.5 million settlement

    for 38-year old female electrician (with history of prior neck injury) who tripped on uneven Masonite protective floor covering, and suffered neck injury with herniated discs requiring cervical fusion.

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    $1.2 million settlement

    during trial for 40-year old sheet metal worker who was struck in the neck and shoulder by an air conditioning unit and suffered herniated cervical discs and cervical radiculopathy.

*AV Preeminent is the highest rating of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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