When the City Council of New York introduced the Construction Safety Act earlier this year, it was hoped that the measures would reduce the unacceptable number of fatalities and serious injuries suffered by workers. Construction workers suffer high rates of injury and death. In 2014, roughly 20 percent of all workplace fatalities came from the construction industry. The construction boom throughout New York City is putting pressure on an industry already suffering from an uneven safety record.

Unfortunately, some elements of the Construction Safety Act stirred controversy and took emphasis away from the goal of making things safer for workers. A battle over union versus nonunion contractors erupted due to a provision calling for apprenticeship programs for large-scale construction and demolition projects. These programs are generally run by or in conjunction with unions. Protests over the provision drew headlines having little to do with the importance of providing a safer environment for workers.

The Fatal Four

Any effort to address construction fatalities must take into account the fatal four. These four types of accidents are responsible for hundreds of construction fatalities every year.

These accidents occur due to insufficient training, poor communication, poor oversight and a general disregard for the safety of workers. While it is impossible to eliminate every type of risk on a construction site, there are countless ways to reduce accidents when construction companies make safety a priority.

New York construction workers who do suffer injuries need to act quickly to protect their rights. If you've been hurt, you should speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You deserve full and fair compensation to aid you in your recovery.

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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