After several years of remaining relatively steady, the number of fatal construction accidents in New York City climbed for the first nine months of last year. The unexpected jump has some experts within the industry to question whether or not the current construction boom in the Big Apple isn’t leading to sloppy oversight and lax OSHA inspections.
Official OSHA data shows that there were 828 fatal accidents within construction industry last year. That’s over 20% of all job-related deaths nationwide and makes construction the deadliest job in America. The leading cause of the majority of these accidental death at the jobsite was, once again, falls from heights. In fact, falling accounted for 36.5% of all fatalities at work–more than the three next most common causes combined.
Those other top three causes were:
•· Struck by object 10.1%
•· Electrocution 8.6%
•· Caught between 2.5%
Within the construction industry, falls account for an even higher percentage of fatal accidents. In New York City, there were 17 fatal construction accidents, 11 of which were caused by falls.
The City’s Department of Buildings Commissioner, Rick D. Chandler, has suggested this increase is at least partially due to the increasing number of construction permits issued within the city.
Are deadly accidents just keeping up with overall growth or is jobsite safety becoming a secondary concern to deadlines and budgetary constraints? As Walter Reuter, a senior superintendent at CNY Construction, said “A fatality is usually caused by somebody taking a short cut, not doing something proper.”
OSHA statistics back that statement up. Two of the most common safety violations OSHA inspectors find on job sites are 1) improper fall prevention and 2) scaffolding violations–both of which could result in a deadly fall from heights.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a jobsite in the Big Apple or if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal fall, contact an expert construction accident attorney in New York City today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.