Though commercial and residential building projects are exploding throughout each borough of New York City, there is still a serious problem: construction deaths are on the rise, and many worker injuries and deaths are not being addressed adequately. Immigrant laborers are especially vulnerable if injured. Unlike U.S. citizens, immigrant workers and their families may be reluctant to pursue compensation.
According to a recent federal investigation, the majority of construction-related accidents could have been avoided if proper safety measures were in place. Instead, many workers remain unprotected and may be forced to work in very dangerous job site environments.
Construction work is tough; beyond the threat of injury, many jobs are physically and mentally exhausting. Negligence on the part of contractors, property owners and other entities can permanently alter a construction worker’s life and ability to earn a living wage. In extreme cases, negligence can result in worker death.
Construction workers must protect themselves, and knowledge of common work-related injuries is a useful first step toward understanding your rights as a worker.
Common sources of danger
Fall-related injuries. Ladders, scaffolding and other work performed at elevated heights increases the risk of injury and death. This risk increases further when fully operational worker harnesses are not supplied.
Equipment-related accidents. From heavy machinery to tools, damaged, defective or otherwise faulty equipment accounts for numerous construction worker injuries and deaths.
Site-based risks. Work sites themselves can pose a threat to workers. Disrepair of existing structures, falling debris and unstable work surfaces each contribute to the overall risk of injury.
Construction workers must be protected on the job. This will require improving job site safety and holding negligent parties accountable for construction worker injuries and deaths.
Because workers’ comp may not provide enough benefits after a serious injury or death, workers should find out whether they can file a lawsuit against a negligent third party for additional damages. Speaking with a work injury lawyer will give you the options you need.