Construction workers nationwide have higher fatality rates than nearly all other industries, but employees in New York City are even more likely to be killed on the job. With more than five times the death rate of other workers in the city, New York City construction workers face one of the most hazardous work environments imaginable—and many different sources say this elevated risk isn’t going to come down anytime soon.
Statistics Show Worrying Injury Trends for New York City Construction Workers
Despite federal, state, and local safety laws to protect New York City construction workers, recent reports indicate that these employees remain significantly vulnerable to workplace dangers due to:
- Untrained workers. As the number of construction projects rises, so do the number of accidents—especially if not enough skilled workers are available to fill positions. Contractors who hire untrained laborers to complete complex building projects on tight deadlines only increase injury risks.
- Safety violations. About 66% of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction inspections done in New York from 2010-2012 resulted in findings of serious safety violations and 89% of contractors working on affordable housing units had OSHA violations.
- Lax inspections. Despite the increase in construction, the number of workplace safety inspections conducted by the OSHA investigators decreased from 2,722 in 2011 to just 1,966 in 2015. When workplace inspections did occur, an overwhelming majority led to safety citations.
- Fall accidents. Data from the New York City Health Department Bureau of Vital Statistics found that falls comprised 58% of fatal construction worker injuries between 2007–2014. Of these, falls from scaffolds were to blame for 25% of deaths, ladder falls caused 16% of deaths, and falls from roofs caused 11% of deaths. In 2015, the New York Committee for Occupational Health and Safety found that the percentage of falls was climbing higher, with falls from heights accounting for 71% of all construction-related injuries.
- Fatalities. An average of 20 construction workers were killed on the job from 2005–2015 in NYC, with a decade-high 32 deaths recorded in 2008. Today, roughly 12 construction workers are killed on the job every year, with Latino and non-union workers at greater risk of dying in a construction-related accident than other workers.
If you have suffered an accident on the job, our New York construction injury lawyers can explain your legal options at no cost to you. Please contact us online or call us directly at 212.465.8840 to schedule your free initial consultation.