New York sees jump in construction worker deaths

In a span of five years, the number of construction site inspections has decreased while the number of construction worker deaths has increased.

New York construction workers should be able to trust that their employers and their colleagues are always putting safety first. There are many ways that safety can be made a priority on job sites. From training to manager observations and more, much of this is within the ownership of construction companies and their employees.

Additionally, safety inspections offer workers another eye into their personal safety. Sadly, a new report issued by the New York Commission for Occupational Safety and Health indicates that the number of inspections conducted at construction sites across the state has been declining. To make matters worse, the number of construction workers killed in job accidents has increased at the same time.

How many inspections are conducted?

According to the New York Daily News, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted 2,722 inspections at construction sites around the state in 2011. In 2015, there were only 1,966 OSHA inspections completed.

How many accidents occur?

In 2011, there were 128 incidents that resulted in either injury or death on construction job sites in the state of New York. In those incidents, 33 people died and 17 of those deaths occurred in New York City.

In 2015, there were 425 total reported accidents that resulted in injury or death statewide. In those incidents, a total of 55 construction workers died and 25 of those deaths occurred in New York City.

What causes construction site accidents?

Many things can contribute to a construction site accident. According to OSHA, more than 60 percent of all construction worker fatalities are attributed to hazards involving being caught in or between objects, being hit by objects, falls, or electrocutions.

In 2014, approximately one out of every five workplace fatalities was in the construction sector. Out of those falls were involved in roughly 40 percent of cases.

How can construction workers be safe?

Ongoing training is an important part of how workers can help themselves and their coworkers. OSHA develops and makes available a wide range of materials for safety training purposes. Many of these materials focus on the top four causes, often referred to as the fatal four or the focus four.

Topics range from everything like basic fall protection to details about ladder and scaffolding requirements for footing and more.

While preventing accidents is always the best scenario, it is equally important for New Yorkers to know how to take action if an accident does occur. At these times, talking with an attorney is recommended. A legal professional may help to guide people through the process of seeking compensation at these times.