Construction is a major part of the New York City landscape. Not only does it build, maintain and improve the city, but it provides jobs for untold numbers of construction workers. That, however, does not eliminate the inherent danger involved with many aspects of the work. From being stationed high above ground, using complex tools, operating large machinery and trusting employers and colleagues to adhere to safety requirements, injuries and deaths are unfortunately common. Workers who have been injured and families who lost a loved one should understand their rights.
“Zero tolerance” leads to almost 1,500 stop work orders
The city is responsible for ensuring that projects are safe. With that, there were almost 1,500 stop work orders at projects across the city as part of the city’s “zero tolerance” campaign. The investigations took place over three months with inspectors assessing sites, citing contractors and ordering work be stopped until issues were sufficiently addressed for workers to be safe when on the job. The catalyst for the investigations were seven deaths on construction sites through May. The latest was when a man fell off a roof.
The highest number of inspections took place in Brooklyn with more than 2,750. Manhattan had the most stop work orders with 545 – nearly one shutdown for every three inspections. Among the biggest concerns were sites which employed non-union workers as they tend to have a greater propensity to lag in vigilance. On a positive note, there has been a reduction in construction fatalities in 2021 when compared to 2019 and 2020 when there were 20. Still, new laws are possible to regulate the industry and make employers more accountable for the safety of their employees.
Safety initiatives may not be enough for construction workers to avoid accidents
Although New York City has been aggressive to ensure construction projects are safe, that does not mean dangerous issues will disappear. On the contrary, many accidents are unforeseen. That can be due to scaffolding falls, equipment malfunctions, explosions, trench collapses, employer negligence and more. Given the litany of challenges injured workers and their families might face in the aftermath of a construction accident, it is imperative to have guidance with how to pursue compensation. This can cover for lost income, medical expenses, long-term care and more. For advice with pursuing a claim, it is wise to consult with experienced legal professionals who know how to investigate construction accidents and take the necessary steps to maximize compensation.