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Workplace Deaths in New York City Rose Dramatically in 2017, New Labor Department Report Shows

Workplace fatalities in New York City rose dramatically in 2017 compared to the previous year, a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows. That report, recently profiled in an article from the Wall Street Journal follows other reports about workplace safety in the City, and comes on the heels of recently released City data marking 2018 as one of the most dangerous years for construction accidents and injuries in NYC in the post-recession era.

While we discussed the rising numbers of construction accidents in NYC in a recent blog post, the new federal report paints a broader picture of work-related accidents and fatalities in all industries. Here are a few of the most important takeaways:

  • Workplace deaths in New York City rose by 55% in 2017 as compared to 2016.
  • In total, 87 workers throughout NYC’s five boroughs died while on the job – the highest number of workplace deaths since 2008 and a significantly higher number than the 56 deaths recorded in 2016, which was the lowest level since BLS began recording data using current methods in 1992.
  • Though such increases historically coincide with spikes in fatal construction accidents, deaths in the construction industry remained flat. Still, construction was the most dangerous occupation in terms of fatal accidents, with roughly a quarter of all worker deaths involving those employed as construction workers, electricians, or carpenters.
  • Men accounted for most of the City’s worker fatalities, comprising 89% of all deaths, which is just under the national average of 93%.
  • The data reveals increases in slip, trip, and fall accidents as one of the leading factors driving higher rates of worker fatalities in the City. In 2017, those types of accidents resulted in 31 worker deaths, as compared to just 13 in 2016.
  • Some of the most striking statistics include the unusually high 7 deaths of workers in the financial industry, as well as the increase from 10 to 18 deaths of workers employed in trade, transportation, and utilities from 2016 to 2017.

The numbers are a major concern for city and federal officials, and they show that while improvements in the construction industry helped keep deaths relatively flat in 2017, deaths in other industries, as well as workplace accidents and injuries overall, are rising. Though these reports are crucial to identifying where fatal workplace accident risks are most prevalent, they also reveal other problematic issues, such as the nation’s opioid epidemic. In 2017, 11 workplace deaths in New York City involved an unintentional overdose, compared to just four in 2016.

What the Numbers Don’t Show: Helping Families After Workplace Accidents

Our legal team at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. knows data like this is critical to helping lawmakers, regulators, and employers identify areas of improvement and develop needed solutions for keeping workers safe. However, we also know the numbers fail to show the often devastating toll workplace accidents can have on victims and their loved ones. Whether it’s a fatal incident or serious injuries or illnesses suffered by workers, job-related accidents can have a profound potential for significant consequences, including not just pain and suffering endured by injured workers fortunate enough to survive, but also considerable emotional and financial strains families must endure in the aftermath of a workplace injury or death.

Our firm and our entire team is committed to helping victims and families address these types of repercussions, and seek the compensation and support they need. Our work in cases involving workplace accidents encompasses all types of workers and families and all types of injuries and resulting losses. By closely evaluating these cases, we help clients better understand their legal rights and options, and guide them through the process of pursuing needed benefits under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, or justice and compensation in the civil justice system when preventable accidents are caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of others – including third parties such as contractors, property owners, product manufacturers, negligent motorists, and more.

Call (212) 577-9325 to Speak with an Attorney

If you have a potential workplace accident you wish to discuss anywhere in New York City or the state of New York, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. is available 24/7 to help. During a free and confidential consultation, we can review the facts of your case and discuss whether you may have options for pursuing workers’ comp benefits or a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Call (212) 577-9325 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.


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