David H. Perecman, a New York scaffolding accident attorney and co-founder of the personal injury law firm of the Perecman Firm, was recently quoted in New York’s Daily News regarding lack of safety in construction sites and the increased abuses and injuries that are occurring across New York City. Representing construction workers for over two decades, Mr. Perecman and his team of scaffolding accident attorneys have seen and fought numerous abuses by developers, architects, and property owners from scaffolding accidents to premises liability post-construction.
In addition to handling some of the most egregious scaffolding accident cases in New York City, Mr. Perecman often speaks on the topic of construction law and the lack of safety in construction sites in front of lawyers, judges and legislators. Some of the workers that are most vulnerable to scaffolding and other construction accidents and injuries are immigrants because of unscrupulous businesspeople who are not regulated by workers’ unions, explains Mr. Perecman, who has represented many immigrant workers during his career.
The following is Mr. Perecman’s quote that appeared recently in the Daily News. “When a union guy is injured, reports are filed,” said David Perecman, a scaffolding accident attorney who represents many immigrant workers. “But when they are illegal aliens, the boss tells them if it still hurts in the morning go to the hospital and tell them you tripped and fell.”
Deaths and injuries at construction sites are on the rise. For instance, since October 2001, at least 98 construction workers have been killed in New York City, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Many of these are scaffolding accidents. Yet, this number most likely is not completely accurate, as a vast majority of construction accidents occur on nonunion jobs involving immigrant laborers. As a result, numerous additional cases are believed to go unreported.
Meanwhile, the deaths and injuries come amid the biggest building boom in recent history. Last year alone, the New York City Department of Buildings issued 111,283 permits for demolition or construction – up from 62,739 in 1996, as reported by the Daily News. The abuses need to stop and labor laws need to be strengthened in order to reduce injuries and improve safety in construction sites, says Mr. Perecman, who recently testified in front of various committees of the New York State Assembly.
He told the Assembly that some New York City labor laws and agencies must be updated and strengthened to adequately protect worker safety in construction sites.