Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

Construction safety and employment trends

Around 6 million people in New York and across the U.S. work in construction, making up around 4% of the workforce. At the same time, they see some of the highest injury and fatality rates. In 2012, just over 19% of worker fatalities, 806 out of 4,175, were in the construction industry. That same year, construction workers saw the seventh highest rate of non-fatal injuries requiring time off work: 382 out of every 10,000 full-time workers.

More than half of those construction fatalities in 2012 were due to one of four causes: falls, struck-by incidents, electrocution and incidents where employees were caught in between machinery. Falls also accounted for 22% of non-fatal injuries and illnesses.

The construction industry continues to grow despite wavering unemployment rates from 1991 to 2001. From 2012 to 2022, the industry is expected to increase the number of its employees by 21% and reach about 7.4 million total. Employment will grow at about a rate of 1.2%, which is not as fast as the 1.4% projected for the economy taken as a whole.

Employers are encouraged to keep up with these trends in both employment and safety. These will provide the context for any workers' compensation claims or construction accident claims that they face.

As for the victims, they may have a case under construction accident law if it is clear that their employer failed to keep their safety a top priority. Filing a personal injury claim will differ from filing for workers' comp benefits, so victims may want a lawyer to assist them. To address the other side's arguments, the lawyer may be able to obtain proof of negligence through the help of investigators. The lawyer may handle all negotiations, litigating if a settlement cannot be reached.

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