As of June, eight NYC construction workers have been killed on-the-job in 2015 – the same number of deaths occurred in all of 2014. The year before there were only three fatalities. The number of injuries from construction accidents is also on the rise. So, what’s the reason for this uptick in construction accidents?
After a 12-ton heating and air-conditioning unit fell 30 stories from a crane to the Madison Avenue pavement earlier this summer, there has been increased debate surrounding construction accidents. Most in the industry concur that the increase in accidents is due to the increase in work. More jobs than usual translates to short-staffing and an influx of less-experienced workers. Last year, New York City spent $36 billion on construction projects, several billion more than in previous years. The increase in work may, in part, be a result of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing goals. In 2016, the Buildings Department is proposing an increase in spending of $148 million. It doesn’t look like the increase in construction projects – or accidents – is going to end anytime soon.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
According to Louis J. Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, “This is the second-most dangerous job in America after mining, so you need guys who know what they are doing.” Construction accidents account for 20% of all work-related accidents in the United States. The most common types of construction-related fatalities are often referred to as the “Fatal Four.” These include:
- Falls (36.5%)
- Struck by object (10.1%)
- Electrocutions (8.1%)
- Caught-in/between (2.5%)
Tips For Avoiding Serious Injury or Death in a Construction Accident
The best line of defense against serious injury or death in a construction accident is safety education and continued training. However, even an experienced construction worker can be involved in an accident. By following the steps below, you can dramatically reduce your risk of a construction-related accident:
- Maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Stretching prior to a shift will increase your range of motion.
- Stay hydrated at all times.
- Wear high-visibility clothing and gear.
- Wear tinted lenses when working in the sun.
- Always wear proper safety gear such as hard hats, safety goggles, and harnesses.
- Use a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) when working on roofs or from other high places.
- Make sure equipment is consistently maintained and in good working order.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. – New York’s Construction Accident Law Firm
New York City will likely continue to see an increase in construction projects for several years to come. This inevitably means potential for more accidents. If you have been injured on-the-job, you have rights. The legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. has been protecting the rights of injured construction workers and their families for years. We know the devastating effect a construction accident can have on the worker and his or her family. Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. is one of the very few law firms that has the skill, experience, expertise and resources to handle your personal injury claim, your workers’ compensation claim and social security disability claim all under one roof. This means you don’t have to go running around to three different lawyers nor do you have to do or explain everything three times. It also speeds up the entire process and shortens the time you get the money and benefits you deserve. Our team of highly experienced attorneys help you get all the money and benefits you deserve. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today for a free consultation about your case. Call us today 1-888-575-6410.