Construction workers deserve a safe workplace, just like any other employee expects at their job, but unfortunately this is not always the reality. In New York City, construction workers face a potentially more dangerous environment as each year passes.
Reported construction injuries are currently on the rise in the city. In 2018, injury rates were higher than any other year after the 2008 recession. As this decade-high occurs, construction fatalities have remained high over the past few years as well.
Is NYC doing anything to reduce injuries?
The rise in construction injuries started in 2014 as building increased in the city. Last year, the New York City Council approved a measure that requires the Department of Buildings to post a list of all construction-related deaths to better track when they occur and why.
The council has also enacted several measures aimed at preventing construction injuries, including increased oversight and higher fines for violations. Every construction worker must have at least 40 hours of safety training because of the city council's actions.
A company's liability
General contractors and property owners in New York also have a duty to workers. New York Labor Code Section 241 dictates that they ensure all workplaces are "constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted" to give workers "reasonable and adequate protection and safety."
Injured construction workers have an avenue for recourse under this code, as do the family members of an employee who dies due to an accident. If an employer fails to provide a safe working environment, New York protects those workers.