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Fatal Construction Accidents on the Rise in New York City

According to a report recently released by the New York City Department of Buildings, there has been a spike in the number of construction-related accidents, deaths, and injuries in the first half of 2018 compared to the same timeframe in 2017.

The report covered accidents that occurred through July 31 in 2017 and 2018, and broke the data down into six categories, Excavation/Soil Work, Material Fell, Mechanical Construction Equipment, Scaffold/Shed/Fence/Shoring/Installation, Worker Fell, and Other Construction Related Incidents and into the five boroughs. According to the Department of Buildings, the number of total accidents in 2017 compared to 2018 increased from 386 to 457, the total number of injuries from 401 to 469, and the total number of deaths from four to eight.

Manhattan saw the overwhelming majority of accidents (234/248), injuries (238/253), and deaths (3/4) – the second most affected borough was Brooklyn, with less than half the total number of accidents (67/107), injuries (66/115), and deaths (1/1).

The Department of Buildings recently passed new safety training requirements for all workers and supervisors in New York City and expressed its hope that this change would increase worker safety across the city.

“Most construction accidents are preventable, which is why increased safety training is so important. Every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.

While these changes are intended to make workplaces safer, the sheer number of construction sites likely played a role in the increased number of accidents, injuries, and deaths. Between January and May of this year, $15 billion worth of construction activity occurred in New York City, more than every other major metro area in the United States.

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