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NYC Reports Fewer Construction Deaths But More Injuries

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In New York City, the ongoing construction is a constant reminder of economic growth and development. However, with progress comes the responsibility to ensure the safety of construction workers. A recent NYC construction safety report addresses major safety concerns and initiatives aimed at reducing construction accidents and enhancing worker safety.

The Department of Buildings collects extensive data on the built environment and active construction projects. This data helps inform the public and refine enforcement procedures to improve public safety. In 2023, the city saw a significant decrease in construction-related fatalities, from 11 in 2022 to 7 in 2023. This marks the lowest number of fatalities in nine years. However, the report also shows a 25% increase in reported worker injuries.

The data also reveals a significant rise in ladder falls, stair falls, and tripping incidents. Many of these injuries occurred despite the presence of required safety precautions. The Department of Buildings is actively investigating these trends to develop strategies for improving safety on construction sites.

How many near misses and major non-fatal construction accidents happen in NYC?

The Department of Buildings investigated several non-fatal construction incidents in 2023 that had the potential to cause severe injuries or fatalities. The most notable incidents documented in the report included:

  • Tower crane collapse in Midtown West: A fire in the crane's cab led to a catastrophic failure, causing the 180-foot-long boom to fall. This accident resulted in major damage but only minor injuries to 11 people.
  • Excavation collapse in Bushwick: An excavation trench collapse pinned a worker, potentially due to improper shoring and bracing.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning on Upper East Side: Two workers became unconscious due to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in an enclosed space due to poor ventilation.

How many construction deaths happen in NYC?

Some of the most notable fatal construction accidents documented in the report include:

  • Worker crushed by a collapsing wall in SoHo: An exterior wall collapse during demolition operations tragically buried a worker in debris.
  • Worker falls 20 feet in Midtown East: A worker died after falling through an unprotected shaft opening.
  • Unreported worker fall in Bed-Stuy: A worker slipped and hit their head, later succumbing to their injuries. The incident was not immediately reported as required by law.
  • Worker cut by circular saw in Queensboro Hills: Incorrect use of a gas-powered rotary saw resulted in a fatal injury.
  • Worker falls through a hole in the roof in Boerum Hill: A worker fell through a hole that was not properly secured or marked, which resulted in fatal injuries.
  • Worker fall in Belmont Heights: A worker adjusting a curtain wall panel fell due to a lack of harness and guardrails.
  • Worker dies by electrocution in the Financial District: An electrician suffered a fatal electrical shock due to unpermitted work and improper safety measures.

Construction accident lawyers fighting for injured workers

If you've suffered an injury on a New York construction site, it's important to understand your legal rights and potential options. You may be entitled to compensation not only through a workers' compensation claim but also through a third-party lawsuit if negligence from another party contributed to your injury. While workers' compensation typically covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, a third-party lawsuit can provide additional compensation for other damages not covered by workers' comp, such as pain and suffering.

Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve. At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our law firm has over 90 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers successfully pursue workers' compensation and third-party claims. Whether it's falls from scaffolding or machinery accidents, we're dedicated to securing the compensation injured construction workers deserve.

Your job is to heal; our job is to handle the rest. Contact us online or call one of our New York law offices today for a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options and ensure your rights are protected.

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