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Report: New York construction deaths at a 14-year high in 2016

According to a new report issued last month by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), an alarming 71 workers died in construction-related accidents in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available.

Not only was this a 42 percent spike from just two years before in 2014, but it was the highest fatality total in 16 years. In fact, over the past 25 years, New York's construction fatality total has reached 71 only twice: 2002 and 2016.

Unfortunately, however, these are merely a few of the many tragic statistics outlined in the recent NYCOSH report titled "Deadly Skyline." For instance, some of the other findings included:

  • In the decade between 2007 and 2017, 444 construction workers died in New York State
  • Over the past five years, the fatal occupational injury rate for construction workers in New York State increased by 29.5 percent
  • Construction-related fatalities accounted for 26 percent of all worker deaths in New York State in 2016
  • Construction-related fatalities accounted for 37.5 percent of all worker deaths in New York City in 2016
  • Over the past 10 years, 85 percent of construction deaths in New York State were caused by the "fatal four" hazards: falls, electrocutions, struck by objects and caught in/between equipment or machinery
  • Over the past 10 years, 101 workers have died due to falls in New York City alone, which accounts for 46 percent of all construction deaths during that time.

Given how dangerous construction work can be, one would think that worker safety would be a priority for lawmakers. Sadly, as we outlined in one of our recent blog posts, even federal lawmakers are now trying to undo certain New York safety laws.

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