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Why was 2018 worse than 2017 for construction worker safety?

Construction is New York City’s most lethal industry, according to recent reports. And things don’t seem to be improving, even with a massive influx of money and brisk growth.

According to an article in The Architect’s Newspaper, 671 workers were hurt in the city in 2017; that number jumped to 761 in 2018 — and those figures represent only the injuries that were reported. The paper reported that the number of worker fatalities held steady over the two years, hovering at around 20 per year. 

What do the statistics say about danger?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its report on 2017 fatal occupational injuries in New York City, affirms that the private construction industry is the most deadly. Within the construction sector, approximately 55 percent of fatalities occurred in the context of building construction. By category of accident (including all industries), falls, slips and trips produced the highest number of fatal injuries to workers, at 36 percent of all deaths tabulated. 

Why aren’t things getting safer for construction workers?

This question is asked often by workers, the families of workers, industry analysts, government leaders and many others. Greed and apathy can be blamed in many cases; insufficient financial penalties for irresponsible contractors and project owners may be a factor; despite a new city law mandating training for workers, weak training and enforcement of training rules is also mentioned when answers are suggested. To us, the essence of the problem is a lack of concern for the lives of workers.   

What can I do if my family has experienced the effects of an injury?

You can (and should) take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Speaking with a legal professional about your situation is a good start. Every situation is different, so be sure to discuss the details of your accident with someone who can help.

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