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Study shows catastrophic injuries and construction deaths growing

New York construction workers know the general risks they face when they take the job. There are times when accidents will happen. They can be due to negligence, scaffolding falls, dangerous conditions and more. However, their employers are required to have certain safety procedures in place to mitigate the risk. However, a new report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) states that the number of construction workers who are killed on the job is increasing with many employers committing violations of code requirements and regulations.

The report was released simultaneous to New York City officials introducing new laws that are meant to improve safety of construction workers. According to the report, 30 workers died over the past two years. In the past 10 years, almost 500 have been killed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015 stated that nearly half of the construction fatalities in the state and 59 percent in the city were due to falls. The study by NYCOSH indicated that inspections of construction sites in the state discovered more than 68 percent had violations in terms of safety protocol.

In 2014, 87 percent of sites in which there was a fatality that were inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had safety violations. More than 90 percent had this issue in 2015. Sites that were found to be particularly dangerous were those with non-union workers. The NYCOSH wants there to be more OSHA 10 training so workers can be more cognizant of safety requirements. Currently, New York City only makes it mandatory for workers who are working on buildings that are a minimum of 10 stories high or that have footprints that go beyond 100,000 square feet to have the OSHA 10 training.

While the attempts on the part of city lawmakers to improve safety for construction workers is ongoing, there are still issues that workers will face whether the new laws, rules and regulations come into effect or not. Dangerous conditions, scaffolding falls, ladder problems, failure to use or properly use a harness and more can lead to workers being injured and dying. When a construction worker is injured or killed, it is imperative to be aware of their rights after catastrophic injuries. Discussing the matter with an attorney can provide information as to how to proceed with a legal case to be compensated.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Report Finds New York Construction Fatalities, Regulatory Violations Rising," Elizabeth Blosfield, Jan. 24, 2017

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