The construction industry is huge. A recent report by Occupational Health and Safety notes that there are over 6.5 million workers that make up the construction workforce. New York City (NYC) is one area that has played a big part in this increase. Construction has increased by over 300 percent in NYC since 2009.
The jump in construction projects has also resulted in an increase in construction accidents. The same report notes NYC has seen a 98 percent increase in construction accidents.
What are common causes of construction accidents?
The common causes of these accidents are not new. A failure to follow safety regulations resulting in falls, trench and scaffold collapses as well as injuries related to electric shock continue to be the most common hazards at construction sites.
What can be done to reduce the risk of accidents?
The report focused on specific safety issues that occurred over 2015 and 2016. Three of the top issues include:
- New York City Crane Collapse. The collapse of a 565 foot crane in Tribeca which led to the death of one pedestrian and serious injury to others was a focus of this national report. This accident resulted in changes to the safety procedures used on small sites in the city. As of August 1, the New York City Department of Buildings requires construction superintendents visit job sites every day construction is occurring.
- OSHA enforcement efforts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stepped up enforcement efforts. Some recent enforcement examples include a school in Brooklyn that was cited for electrical and fall hazards, a construction company out of Philadelphia that was called to increase safety measures after five fatal falls in the span of one month and a contractor out of Texas that was cited for trenching hazards.
- National Safety Stand-Down. This voluntary event is sponsored by OSHA and is designed to provide a platform of workers and employers to discuss safety. This year, the focus was on fall prevention. Falls continue to be the number one cause of death and serious injury in this sector.
Ideally, spotlighting these issues will lead to change and help reduce the risk of future accidents. Unfortunately, even when steps are taken to reduce the risk of accidents, accidents still happen. Remedies may be available for those who are injured in construction accidents. One option may include legal action.
If you or a loved one is injured in such an accident, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced construction accident lawyer. This legal professional will review the details of your case and work to better ensure your legal rights and any potential remedies are protected.