A new study found that the number of fatal construction accidents in New York City hit a 14-year high in 2016. After several years of stable (or even decreasing) numbers of deadly jobsite accidents in New York, the danger that workers find themselves in has exploded. Indeed, workers at jobsites across New York State die at much higher rates than almost anywhere else in the nation. With fatality rates 4.6 times higher in the construction compared to average jobs, it’s clear that the industry does indeed need to rethink its commitment to safety and to examine what’s causing this increase.
Critics say lack of oversight is directly contributing. Indeed, the authors of the study cite the decrease in funding for oversight organizations like OSHA as an important factor. With less money to work with, these organizations aren’t performing enough jobsite inspections in New York. This leads to dangerous cutting of corners, contractors ignoring safety standards, and a lackadaisical approach toward keeping jobsites free of hazards.
Federal regulators would like the state to play a larger role in safety inspections, stating that they too should bear the responsibility of keeping construction workers from harm.
Several critics say that laws governing jobsite safety are outdated and do not accurately reflect the hazards present on a modern jobsite. Many support changing the way legal responsibility is assigned in construction accidents in New York. The thought is that if a judge or jury were deciding legal responsibility based on laws which more accurately reflected the worksite dangers, it would incentivize construction companies to keep workers safer. In addition, there should be improved worker training; more aggressive enforcement of federal, state, and local safety regulations; enhanced requirements for the reporting of accidents and more aggressive prosecution of criminally responsible construction companies.
Injured workers and their families still need an experienced construction accident attorney in New York City to get the compensation they rightly deserve. If you’ve been hurt at a jobsite, contact the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel today. Call 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.