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Are union construction jobs safer than nonunion jobs?

This is the question New York City lawmakers and labor organizations are asking. As construction accidents increase, people want to know if there is a difference between safety on sites with union labor and those with nonunion labor.

Answering this question may help city officials determine where the majority of safety concerns lie. Currently, there are no statistics to show that union jobsites are safer, even though that is a commonly held belief among many people in the construction industry.

Why is this a concern now?

New York City is experiencing a dramatic increase in construction projects. With this increase comes more construction site accidents, injuries and deaths. The Department of Buildings reports that there were 471 construction injuries in 2015, which is double the number of injuries in 2014. In addition, 12 workers died as a result of construction accident injuries last year.

If the city learns which jobsites are safer, it can take steps to prevent accidents and protect the health of construction workers.

The dangers are everywhere

All construction sites have the potential to cause serious or fatal accidents. Workers face hazards such as:

  • Falls from elevated heights
  • Structural collapse
  • Equipment failures
  • Lack of safety procedures
  • Falling objects
  • Electric shock
  • Trench collapses
  • Toxic exposure
  • Explosions

Injured construction workers can apply for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' comp pays a portion of a person's lost wages. It also covers all of their medical expenses.

In serious injury cases, however, workers' compensation is typically not enough for workers and their families.

If you suffered a construction injury, find out whether you can seek additional financial compensation through a personal injury suit. These types of cases are quite common in construction accidents, and can help you pay the bills while you are recovering from your injury.

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