Anyone in New York who has ever worked in a construction job or who has had a loved one employed in construction knows that there are inherent risks involved in work in this industry. Those risks, however, do not negate the responsibility of an employer to keep its employees safe. This responsibility spans many things such as providing safety training to people, ensuring all tools and machinery used are in good working order and requiring proper adherence to safety protocols at a minimum.
Unfortunately it seems this level of responsibility may not always be heeded by construction employers. The New York Commission for Occupational Safety and Health reported on a dangerous and tragic trend seen in statistics that show the number of construction workers who were killed on the job in 2016 was the highest number of such deaths recorded in the state since 2002. In 2016, a total of 71 construction worker lives were lost in work-related incidents.
The 71 people who died in 2016 left behind numerous friends and families who struggle to make sense of their deaths. In 2015, the state experienced 55 fatalities on construction job sites. Deaths among construction workers in New York state happen at a rate more than four times that of deaths in other industries. These realities are pushing many to call for reform of some laws including an old scaffold law.
Family members and workers who are involved in serious construction site accidents may want to connect with an attorney in New York to learn how they may seek appropriate compensation.
Source: CBS New York, “Report: New York Construction Fatalities Going Up,” January 31, 2018