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Construction Deaths and Injuries Are on the Rise in NYC

By George Khoury, Esq. on March 07, 2017 10:59 AM

For those in the construction industry in New York, worrying about serious on-site work injuries has always been a real part of the job, but recent reports are cause for real concern. Based on the recent report issued by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, construction fatalities, as well as construction injuries, are on the rise in New York, and have been over the last half decade.

This means that for the construction workers, and families of workers, particularly those in non-union employment, the risk of serious injury is very real. The report explains that 80 percent of the injuries occur at non-union job sites.

Details of the Report

The NYCOSH report explains that safety violations have become regular occurrences on job sites as a result of lenient code enforcement. Unfortunately, despite the desire to increase code enforcement, the number of inspectors has shrunken, while the amount of construction has increased.

In terms of statistics, the NYCOSH report shows that:

  • In 2014, 87% of job sites where a fatality occurred had code violations
  • In 2015, 90% of job sites where a fatality occurred had code violations
  • In 2011, there were 33 construction related injury deaths in the state
  • In 2015, there were 55 construction related injury deaths in the state
  • In 2011, there were 128 construction related injuries or deaths in the state
  • In 2015, there were 435 construction related injuries or deaths in the state

Most significantly, the report explained that a majority of the injuries, fatalities, and even code violations, are occurring at non-union work sites, which is likely to be because workers do not have the union to advocate for safe working conditions.

Legal Claims for Injured Construction Workers

While no legal claim or award can truly adequately compensate a person who has been permanently disabled, disfigured, injured, or killed, legal remedies for workplace injuries should be discussed with an attorney. Generally, when a worker is injured on a job site, they should be entitled to workers' compensation. The law surrounding workers' compensation is complex and specific, however, if you or a loved one was injured on a job site, a workers' comp attorney is a good place to start.

If there has been a death, generally, a personal injury attorney that focuses on wrongful death claims should be sought out. Family members, such as spouses, parents and children, or even the deceased's own estate, may be able to recover in a wrongful death action.

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