Despite several state-specific laws that seek to increase safety for construction workers, New York City still suffers from regular injuries and fatalities brought on by construction site accidents.
While some parties contend that construction entails a certain amount of unavoidable risk to workers, others are apparently not satisfied by this line of reasoning — allegedly including mayor Bill De Blasio. According to a recent report, the mayor takes construction fatalities in the city personally and may even yell at his office whenever he hears of a new worksite death.
If the mayor does respond that passionately to construction deaths, then the last couple years has undoubtably been difficult for both him and his staff. In January, the New York Times reported that the city suffered 31 construction deaths between 2015 and 2016.
Greater safety requirements on the horizon
Of course, no one likes the idea of construction workers suffering injuries or dying in worksite accidents, but that doesn't make the job any safer for those on the ground. Fortunately, the City Council is currently reviewing newly proposed safety requirements that aim to reduce the number of injuries and deaths in the cities worksites.
The proposed requirements call for 30 additional hours of safety training for those in supervisor positions, and would require workers who perform tasks involving scaffolding or certain confined spaces to undergo additional training as well.
Will more requirements change safety on the ground?
It's no secret that construction injuries and fatalities are a shame for New York over the last several years, and some have suggested that the most recent increase in accidents is due to less frequent safety inspections. It remains to be seen how the new safety guidelines, if enacted, will affect construction crew safety.
While we may someday find a solution that does away with construction accidents altogether, or at least diminishes them to a very rare occurrence, that day is not today.
Many construction workers face real danger every day, and construction accidents do still injure or kill workers regularly. It is certainly good that the matter is apparently a pressing concern for the mayor, but that does little for those who suffer in construction accidents in the meantime.
If you or someone you love recently suffered injury in a construction site accident, you deserve to examine all your options for pursuing fair, complete compensation for your losses. An experienced legal professional can help you understand the relevant factors of your case and guide you as you pursue justice and recovery.