Construction accident injuries are on the rise here in New York City, where the crumbling infrastructure and continuing urban sprawl have caused an uptick in construction projects. With construction projected to rise another 10% by the end of 2019, public policy experts and worker advocates have welcomed a new surprise inspection program for New York City construction sites. Recently, the New York Times reported that these surprise inspectors have already issued 11,484 safety violations at NYC worksites, after reviewing over 10,256 different locations.
Rooting Out Construction Site Safety Hazards in NYC
Most workers understand that construction comes with some safety risks, but site managers and third-party contractors should still protect their workers from injury and remove dangerous hazards whenever possible. Due to the rapid pace of urban development throughout New York City, construction workers here have also faced unusually high accident risks as of late. Last year, over 761 New York construction workers were seriously injured – representing a whopping 61% increase from the same time period in 2015.
To combat this crisis, the city government has authorized an aggressive effort to improve conditions at construction sites. By allocating an entire unit of the Buildings Department to proactive construction site inspections, government officials hope to catch safety violations long before they have the chance to hurt workers. Comprised of over 38 highly-experienced professionals, the surprise inspection team will continue to grow in the coming months, with another 15 inspectors projected to join next year.
Although 437 construction injuries still occurred in the first nine months of 2019, the initiative appears to be working so far: The injury rate has already fallen by 26% from 2018. However, safety experts agree that these surprise inspections may not be enough to protect all New York City construction workers, especially those working on smaller projects. With the current city rules, only buildings with more than 15 stories are required to have a full-time safety manager on site.
Holding Construction Employers Accountable for Hazards
Representing over $15 million in fines and fees, many of the 11,484 safety violations issued by the inspection team pinpointed dangerous working conditions. From missing railings on high-rise projects to inadequate supervision at the worksite, these conditions aren’t just an injury risk – they put workers’ lives in danger. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction work still has the highest number of fatal work injuries across all industries and sectors in the nation, including other dangerous occupations such as agriculture and forestry.
While many injured construction workers in New York are eligible for workers’ compensation, these benefits don’t always account for life-altering and catastrophic injuries. When another party has been negligent at your construction site, you could have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
This area of the law can be incredibly complicated, but at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we’re more than up to the challenge. Our founding attorney, David Perecman, is one of the leading construction accident lawyers in New York, recovering over $500,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for his clients. When you turn to our compassionate and dedicated team, you’ll gain powerful advocacy from time-tested trial lawyers.
Don’t hesitate to speak with our New York City construction accident team! Call (212) 577-9325 today for a free consultation.