New York construction workers risk injuries every day on a worksite. While there are constant additions and changes to the New York skyline, lives continue to be lost in construction workers' accidents. This problem has now become political.
In New York, the city's building codes require significantly more safety for workers on the construction sites of buildings with 10 stories or more. Construction workers' accidents recorded from 2010 through 2015 totaled 1,446 -- leading to 40 fatalities. Seventy-five percent of those deaths occurred on construction sites of buildings that were lower than 10 stories tall. The Construction Safety Act was recently proposed before the City Council; in part, it addresses safety on construction sites of shorter -- or minor -- buildings.
Sometimes, workplace accidents occur in which many lives could have been lost, but, miraculously, only minor injuries occur. One would think that such incidents would encourage a business owner to improve the company's safety protocols. However, after a recent roof collapse in New York, it became known that the out-of-state contractor had a record of four prior safety violations after construction workers' accidents since 2007.
Fall accidents on construction sites in New York are common occurrences. Many such construction workers' accidents cause death or traumatic injuries. Unfortunately, most falls are preventable if employers would comply with federal safety regulations. An unsafe work environment might have caused the fall that led to the critical injuries that a 39-year-old worker suffered in a neighboring state on a recent Wednesday afternoon.
Too many families lose loved ones on construction sites. While the importance of fall protection is a much-discussed subject, construction workers' accidents involving fatal falls continue to occur. A 44-year-old New York City man died when he fell while working on the roof of a building under construction in a neighboring state only a few days before Thanksgiving.
Falls cause a significant number of workers' deaths in New York and elsewhere. Many of these fatalities follow noncompliance of safety regulations that lead to construction workers' accidents. A recent incident in Kingsbury caused the death of one construction worker and the hospitalization of four more.
Building authorities in New York recently expressed their concern about the number of fatalities in the construction industry. The City Council said construction workers' accidents on New York building sites caused the deaths of 11 people last year. A call was made for harsher enforcement of compliance with safety standards after yet another life was recently lost on a construction site.
A New York roofing company is adamant to fight the findings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It maintains that no workplace injuries have occurred in the 10 years of its existence. However, OSHA is concerned about the company's repeated non-compliance with safety regulations. An OSHA spokesperson said safety regulations to prevent construction workers' accidents are not only necessities but required by law.
The number of fatalities in the construction industry in New York listed by the city varies from that published by the federal government. Reportedly, the city's recorded data only includes construction workers' accidents that occurred due to violations of the construction code of the city. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's records include all construction-related deaths.
Whenever there is activity in road construction zones in New York and other states, lives are put on the line. The dangers posed by the massive machines and equipment must never be underestimated. Owners of construction companies must ensure that operators of equipment are qualified and trained in the operation of the particular machine. Even slight errors can cause devastating construction workers' accidents.