The New York City Council has unanimously passed Intro 1447, a bill requiring most construction workers to take 40 hours of safety training. A major holdup had been the concern that many immigrant and low-income day laborers would be shut out of the construction trades by the requirement.
Two workers were killed and another was injured in separate fall accidents on the same day last week in Manhattan. The tragedies prompted a call by Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya for the swift passage of a bill he is sponsoring, known as "Carlos' Law."
Despite the fact that there are several rules and regulations in place to protect construction workers, countless injuries occur every year on construction sites throughout New York City. In many cases, these injuries are the direct result of decisions made by property owners and general contractors to skirt -- or outright ignore -- these mandatory safety guidelines.
A distribution center for the Gap stores was destroyed by fire last year on Aug. 29 of last year On Dec. 10, a man operating an excavator as part of the demolition was killed. A 100-foot section of roof truss or joist slid loose and rammed into the excavator, piercing it. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined his employer for a serious safety violation.
Even though most people feel relatively safe while at work, the truth is that countless workplace accidents occur every day -- some of which caused by extreme events such as fires and explosions.
As recently reported by Crain's New York Business, immigrant workers accounted for most of New York City's construction-related deaths in 2015.
On Wednesday, a New York City contractor -- and owner of two construction companies -- was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of an 18-year-old construction worker from 2015.
Last Wednesday, a New York City construction worker sadly died from injuries sustained in an on-the-job fall -- making it the most recent in a long string of worker fatalities over the last few years.
In past blogs, we've talked in-depth about the hazardous conditions that cause construction accidents in New York City. In fact, although they only make up three percent of the city's workforce, construction workers account for more than one-third of all workplace fatalities.
As anyone who has worked in construction knows, it is one of the most dangerous jobs, particularly in New York given the many high-rise buildings. In fact, according to the most recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 937 construction workers died in work-related accidents in 2015 alone -- representing more than one-fifth of all work-related fatalities that year.