Construction workers in New York have experienced an increase in injuries and death over the last few years. Some of the reasons for these accidents include an increased number of projects and a decrease in the amount of safety inspections being conducted.
According to OSHA, around 20% of work-related deaths every year are in the construction industry. More than half of these incidents are caused by one of the fatal four, which include:
- Caught in/between
- Being struck by object
OSHA admits it is a small agency that results in having one compliance representative for 59,000 workers. In cities or states in which there is a multitude of construction projects, the shortage of safety officers can lead to disastrous results.
According to the New York Daily News, New York City is one place that has felt the effect of a decrease in safety inspections. Both fatalities and injuries have increased over the last few years, and experts are concerned the trend will continue if something does not change. The major cause of death in the city is falls, and most of the incidents are preventable. An investigation by the New York safety and health committee found the majority of accidents occurred at nonunion sites and almost 70% of sites had safety citations. Many of the nonunion contractors do not follow safety requirements and penalize workers who fight for better working conditions. Measures to improve safety and reduce accidents have been proposed. These include:
- Increased tracking of deaths
- Fall-safety protection requirements
- Increased penalties for contractors who are repeat offenders