Safety is always a primary worry for construction workers and anyone else who is near a construction project in New York City. These areas can be dangerous with the possibility of falls, equipment accidents, trench collapses, tool mishaps and objects dropping from above.
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible for inspecting these sites and addressing violations as they occur. However, recent concerns were aired by the New York State Comptroller that should stoke fear as to how seriously the DOB is taking its duties. Anyone who is injured or loses a loved one in a construction accident should be aware of this.
State comptroller’s audit says DOB is lacking in urgency for safety
According to New York Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the DOB is not being aggressive enough in doing its job of ensuring construction sites are safe. A major worry is how workers are protected. The DOB is expected to hold contractors and owners in check to make sure their properties are up to code. If there are problems, they must be fixed as soon as possible. Without proper oversight and a failure to enforce the law, some may be lax in following protocol.
More than one-quarter of worker fatalities in New York City between 2018 and 2020 were construction-related. From the beginning of 2018 through mid-May 2021, more than 2,000 workers were injured and 36 lost their lives. To compile the report, auditors fanned out across the city to check various sites. In all, 43 were visited. Eighteen had ongoing work at the time. At 16 of them, there were 77 safety total issues with some getting summonses.
The audit asks the DOB to focus on contractors with a history of risky behavior; show greater vigilance when issues are found; formulate and implement ways to hold builders accountable when they do not take the necessary steps to address dangers promptly; and coordinate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to keep track of construction risks.
Legal representation is vital after a New York construction accident
Construction workers rely on their employers, legislators and government entities to make sure they are fully protected. Unfortunately, as this audit shows, there is a notable gap between what is required and what is being done.
When there is a construction accident, people will be faced with medical expenses, lost income and a questionable future. If there is a fatality, their family will have a host of personal, financial and emotional challenges to overcome. It is imperative to have experienced legal advice with investigating the case, calculating how much was lost and acting to file a claim to receive the maximum in compensation.