New York Construction Safety Bill Gets Mixed Response

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More Delays for Construction Safety Bill Due to Lack of Consensus

 Most employers, employees, city officials, and safety advocates in New York agree that something needs to be done about construction safety. However, these groups cannot come to an agreement on a construction safety bill. According to a recent article in The New York Times, union workers first held a rally about construction safety back in 2015 after construction accidents and deaths rose in the city. The union workers wanted better safety standards for workers to prevent accidents. The City Council did convene hearings, and the Department of Buildings increased fines for construction safety violations, yet no legislation has passed.

A number of bills were proposed, with aims to make construction in New York safer. According to The New York Times, “the most consequential piece of legislation” is a bill that requires “every construction worker on projects over three stories receives 59 hours of safety training.” In other words, if you are going to be working on projects where falls from heights, crane accidents, and other safety issues may be involved, you need to have at least 59 hours of safety training. The bill has yet to pass and members of the City Council have indicated that the current bill is unlikely to be the one that will get passed. While some advocates of the bill have suggested that they are “cautiously optimistic,” they also recognize that the proposed legislation is contentious and will continue to be met with opposition.

Given that the construction industry’s recent “surge in deaths and injuries far exceeded the growth rate of new construction over a comparable period,” something must be done to prevent construction accidents. In 2017 alone, five construction workers have sustained fatal injuries on the job. In 2016, 12 workers died as a result of construction accident injuries.


Facts About Construction Accidents

 What should you know about construction accidents and fatalities? The following facts from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) help clarify the rate and severity of construction accidents:

  • 4,379 construction workers suffered fatal injuries at work in 2015;
  • 93 worker fatalities occur per week on average, or 13 deaths on average per day;
  • 4% of all worker deaths occur in the construction industry (one out of five);
  • Falls are the leading cause of construction site injuries and fatalities;
  • Other frequent causes of construction site deaths include being struck by an object, being caught in or between, and electrocution;
  • The causes of fatalities listed above are known as the “fatal four” of the construction industry, and they are responsible for nearly 65% of all construction deaths; and
  • Falls alone account for nearly 40% of construction fatalities.

Construction accidents happen too often and hopefully, more safety measures will be put in place to prevent tragedies. If you or someone you love was injured in a construction accident, contact a construction accident lawyer to learn more about your rights.

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