As construction worker injuries continue to rise in New York City, the city is taking steps to hold owners and contractors accountable for dangerous work sites. The city has developed a new SWAT team of inspectors that conduct surprise spot inspections on construction sites throughout the city. These inspections often result in violations that can bring with them hefty fines.
Surge in Construction Injuries
The city is currently undergoing its biggest building boom in decades, and there has been a surge in worker injuries. According to city data, construction injuries rose by 61% to 761 in 2018 from 472 in 2015. Construction fatalities remained constant.
Prior to the new SWAT program, the city would typically only dispatch building inspectors for scheduled visits or in response to accidents or complaints. The unit, comprised of 38 highly-trained inspectors, is solely dedicated to surprise spot inspections. Construction injuries have fallen by 26% since the surprise inspections began. While this is a promising start, these inspections need to happen more frequently and at more construction sites to really be effective. In addition, even when inspectors uncover safety violations and issue citations, there still needs to be follow-up to ensure that dangerous conditions have been repaired.
Construction Sites Are Still Dangerous
Despite the effectiveness of surprise inspections, construction sites remain one of the most dangerous places to work. Time pressures cause too many contractors to cut corners on the job site. In addition, there has been a disturbing failure on the part of employers to adequately enforce required worker safety training. This type of negligence leaves construction sites in an unsafe condition and puts the health and safety of workers at risk. Common construction site accidents include:
- Fall hazards
- Slip and falls
- Scaffolding accidents
- Objects falling on workers
- Unsafe equipment
- Lack of safety gear
- Vehicle accidents
- Crane collapses
- Roof and ceiling collapses
All of these situations can involve injuries that should have been prevented by keeping a construction site safe for workers.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you may want an experienced attorney on your side. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured construction workers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.