New York City is experiencing the largest construction boom in 25 years. The city is expecting nearly 90,000 new housing units between 2019 and 2021. The boom has brought countless projects and jobs to the city. We could normally expect an upsurge of construction injuries and deaths with more construction companies active throughout the city. Recent data released by city officials shows a downward trend of construction injuries, however.
How much have construction injuries declined?
Overall safety at NYC's construction sites has improved, according to recent data from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). The overall number of construction injuries has dropped.
DOB Commissioner, Melanie E. La Rocca, recently announced the figures for 2019. There were approximately 657 construction injuries from January to October in 2018. That number dropped 26 percent to 483 during the same period in 2019.
Experts believe that this decline is the result of added safety training requirements for construction workers and stricter inspections.
What are the new training requirements?
Local Law 196 was passed in 2017, which required construction workers to show that they had completed 10 hours of OSHA safety training within the last five years. The training covers dealing with common worksite hazards, fall prevention, and working with (and around) heavy machinery.
As of December 1, 2019, workers must have 30 hours of safety training. In addition, workers on sites that require a Site Safety Plan must receive 40 hours of training.
Are worksite inspections effective at preventing construction injuries?
The Construction Safety Compliance Unit currently conducts random inspections at New York construction sites. The agency closely monitored more than 6,000 construction sites throughout the city in 2019. Many construction companies don't want to face penalties after an unannounced inspection. The agency will soon have as many as 48 inspectors overseeing safety at construction sites.
Since the agency began conducting random inspections, more than $15 million in fines have been imposed on construction companies with safety violations. These inspections continue to keep construction companies on their toes.
While the decline in construction injuries is good news, not all construction companies comply with the city's safety standards. If you were hurt on a construction site in NYC or anywhere throughout New York State, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law can help guide you through the process. To maximize your chances of receiving benefits, contact us online.