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Law proposed to protect construction workers from falls

New York construction workers are at constant risk for being in an accident that can cause serious injury or death. While there are laws that are designed to protect them, that does not mean they cannot be improved. The rise in the number of fatalities in the construction industry is worrisome and those who work in the building trades along with their representatives are seeking a change to the law that will mandate that the safety practices on construction sites be improved.

A new law known as the Construction Safety Act has been proposed to combat the increased number of fatalities on construction sites. From 2011 to 2015, the number of deaths increased by 22 to 55. 25 of the deaths were in New York City. In that time frame, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reduced its number of inspections to 1,966 from 2,722. A study into construction accidents found that the highest rate of fatal construction injuries was in New York City at 4.7 times higher than the average rate.

Overall in New York, 34 percent of workplace fatalities occur in the construction industry even as only 3 percent of the workforce is in this sector. From 2014 to 2015, the number of construction injuries whether it was injury or death nearly doubled in New York City. In that time span, there was an 88 percent rise. The most common cause of death in construction are falls. More than 59 percent from 2011 to 2015 were because of falls. The rest of the country averaged 36.3 percent. There were nearly 4,000 citations that were given to companies and 47 percent were because of failure to failure to have proper fall protection, scaffolding protections, and ladder safety.

For people who have been injured in a construction accident of any kind or those who have lost a loved one, these are not small issues. Since the job itself is rife with various dangers, it is imperative that the laws regarding protecting workers be adhered to. With a construction accident at an elevated height, the chance of long-term damage and death is substantial. This is why those who have been affected by such an accident need to understand their rights to be compensated by discussing the matter with an attorney experienced in construction cases.

Source:, "NYC Construction Workers Rally in Support of Construction Safety Act," Jan. 19, 2017

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