How will NYC handle the rise of construction deaths and injuries?

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

In November two construction workers were killed in Queens after a crane cable split and dropped a 6,500 pound steel beam. This recent tragedy was the breaking point for city officials after the rising string of construction worker deaths throughout New York City. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stated that the City Council must reform New York’s construction safety.

A lack of worksite safety leads to dangerous conditions

City officials are greatly concerned about the rising deaths of construction workers. There were 10 construction-related deaths during 2015’s fiscal year, according to the city’s Buildings Department. This compares to the 5.5 annual average of the past four years. Even worse yet the number of injured workers rose 53 percent to 324 workers. 2016 is not looking any better. Several factors go into a construction site accident, but in the end they are usually preventable with the right safety measures.

Construction companies often cut corners to save time and money. Unfortunately pressure to build in a small amount of time can lead management and workers to miss basic safety steps. When safety lacks, lives are lost. While safety organizations count the fatalities, many families have to face the real life consequences of unsafe working conditions. Families suffering from the loss or disability of a loved one often have to seek personal injury lawsuits to gain back some normalcy to their lives.

The city seeks answers to keep workers safe

The City Council is set to hold an oversight hearing with the end goal to reduce construction fatalities to zero. The president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, a group which represents contractors who use union labor, said that solutions could stem from focusing on union status, language issues, and project size. The city should also keep a closer eye on developers and owners who do not take safety seriously for their workers.

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