In the city that never sleeps and never quite seems to have an end to its constant construction projects, construction accidents are fairly common.
According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, while construction workers only make up 5% of the workforce in New York City, they account for 27% of work-related injuries.
While construction worker fatalities in New York have decreased over the past couple of years, injuries have skyrocketed.
The majority of these injuries are due to:
- Material failure
- Excavation work
- Poor respiratory protection
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Scaffolding and ladder issues
- Falling debris
- Lack of safety gear and protection
- Malfunctioning safety gear
- Misuse of machinery and equipment
- Lack of preventative maintenance and training
- Unsafe working conditions; OSHA violations
- Unclear safety hazard protocol
While there are OSHA requirements construction sites must uphold and OSHA training that all employees must complete prior to working on construction sites, accidents still happen and will never be 100% preventable.
Over the past few years, the New York City Department of Buildings has reported construction-related accidents in all five boroughs, with Manhattan seeing the highest number of incidents and Staten Island seeing the lowest.
Here is a breakdown of construction accidents in each borough as of July 2022, as reported by the New York City Department of Buildings:
Construction Accidents By NYC Borough
Even though the year isn’t over, each borough in New York City has reported multiple construction-related accidents in 2022.
There have been 140 accidents in Manhattan this calendar year, which is roughly 41 fewer accidents than were reported at this time in 2021.
Some of these accidents and injuries include lacerations after dropping power tools, injuries sustained after being caught between guardrails and machinery, and pain from slipping off of extension ladders.
In total, these accidents have led to 149 injuries and zero fatalities.
Accidents that occurred in the Bronx include flipped vehicles, debris falling from scaffolding dismantling, and pallet jack malfunctions.
These accidents have caused a total of 37 injuries and zero fatalities.
Multiple of these accidents have come from employees falling off of ladders, scaffolding issues, and severe slips from balconies and other high locations.
These accidents have caused 65 injuries and two fatalities this year.
Some of these accidents include open excavation injuries, injuries from falling off single masonry scaffolding, and injuries due to faulty crane operations.
These accidents have led to 32 injuries and two fatalities.
Staten Island construction workers have experienced the fewest accidents in New York, with only 1 reported accident in 2022. This number reflects five times fewer construction accidents than the borough experienced at this time last year.
Occupational Safety Precautions On Construction Sites in NYC
Working on a construction site can be a very dangerous job. Many potential hazards can cause serious injuries or even death. That is why it is so important to take all the necessary safety precautions when working on a construction site.
Some of the most common hazards on construction sites include:
Falling objects: This is one of the most common dangers on construction sites. Tools, equipment and materials can all fall from heights and injure or kill people below.
Electrocution: Construction sites often have exposed electrical wires and equipment. This can pose a serious electrocution hazard if workers come into contact with them.
Fires and explosions: Construction sites often have flammable materials and chemicals. This can create a serious fire or explosion hazard if they are not properly stored and used.
Trench collapses: Construction workers often have to work in trenches. These can collapse and bury workers alive if they are not properly supported.
Some of the safety precautions that should be taken on construction sites include:
Wearing proper safety gear: This includes hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, high visibility clothing, etc.
Using proper lifting techniques: This helps to avoid injuries from lifting heavy objects.
Following traffic safety rules: Construction sites often have large vehicles moving around. Workers need to be aware of their surroundings and follow traffic safety rules to avoid being hit by a vehicle.
Staying aware of potential hazards: Workers should always be on the lookout for potential hazards and report them to their supervisor.
Working safely around machinery: Construction sites often have large, powerful machinery. Workers need to be trained in how to safely work around this type of equipment.
By following these safety precautions, construction workers can help to prevent injuries and fatalities on the job.
Responding to Construction Accidents
Because every accident can lead to multiple injuries and fatalities, it can be difficult for workers and workplaces to determine exactly how to handle each incident. Depending on the project and the accident, there can be numerous repercussions and numerous parties involved in a construction accident, further complicating any situation that may arise.
For these reasons, it is critical for construction workers who experience an accident to work with a reputable, highly-qualified construction accident lawyer.
Get Help From An Experienced NYC Construction Accident Lawyer
The trial lawyers at William Schwitzer & Associates have the expertise, experience, and dedication necessary to ensure their clients receive the best possible legal representation in the case of an accident.
They take the side of the injured, fighting to make sure construction workers that get hurt on the job receive the compensation they deserve.
Over the years, they’ve recovered millions of dollars for their construction clients, and they can help you, too.