Construction jobs continue to be the most dangerous workplaces in New York in terms of injuries and fatalities. While overall numbers of workplace fatalities in the city are on the decline, the number of construction fatalities in New York has gone up over the last few years. This may, in part, be due to a reduction in the number of workplace inspections occurring in New York, increasing the chance of a dangerous situation going unnoticed. Since the number of OSHA workers has also decreased in recent years, it is entirely possible that these numbers will continue to rise.
Workplace Fatalities in New York
In general, the number of fatalities due to occupational injuries in New York City has been on the decline over a decade, based on numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2006 there were nearly 100 fatal injuries in New York workplaces, while that number was just over 70 in 2015. Slips, trips, and falls make up more than one-quarter of these fatalities, making them the most dangerous types of workplace accidents.
Construction Fatalities in New York
Even though the general number of workplace fatalities in New York has gone down, the number of construction deaths has actually gone up in recent years. In 2011 there were 17 construction-related deaths, while there were 25 in 2015; deaths across the state have also gone up for construction workers. While construction work is known to be the most dangerous occupation, with the highest number of injuries and fatalities, that is still an unacceptably high number of fatalities for workers.
Inspections Down as OSHA Loses Funding and Inspectors
While the exact reason for this increase may be due to several different factors, it is worth noting that as these rates increase, the number of safety inspections at worksites has decreased. In 2011 there were more than 2,700 inspections, while in 2015 there were just over 1,900. These inspections are carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, which has seen a reduction in New York State inspectors in that same time from 82 to 66. Fewer inspectors mean fewer safety inspections, and as the number of inspections has gone down, fatalities for workers have gone up.
If someone you love was killed on a construction site, it may have been due to negligent, dangerous conditions. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case.