New Yorkers Fed Up With Neglect to Construction Worker Safety

Posted By Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. || 14-Jan-2016

As construction in the Big Apple booms, New Yorkers are raising concerns about the increasing number of worker injuries on construction sites due to a clear failure by companies to follow safety rules. In December, labor unions joined together to demonstrate against unsafe construction sites in New York City. At the same time, the New York City Council met to fast-track legislation that would increase safety and penalize construction contractors who break the rules. In addition, the New York State Senate is also considering the matter.

These actions were prompted by the publication of New York Times two-year investigation into construction injuries and fatalities. The report contains thousands of safety reports, as well as interviews with families of workers who died on constructions sites. The New York Times found that the surge in injuries and deaths is well out of proportion to the increase in construction. Since 2008, the number of permits has increased by 17.5 percent; the rise in deaths and injuries, however, has far exceeded the rate of new construction.

The report also sheds light on the reasons contractors fail to enforce safe rules and provide sufficient supervision at job sites. Contractors and owners in their quest to get the work done, since “time is money,” spur project managers on to use unsafe shortcuts and untrained workers to yield faster results.

New York State has also taken up the issue of construction site safety. Of the bills pending in the Senate, Senate Bill S882 will establish a New York City construction task force. This entity will advise the City on issues related to safety in the construction industry and propose changes in the rules and regulations, licensing requirements, enforcement, training and any other issues concerning safety.

Last March, Michele Mirman, Esq., on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers, went to Albany with them to urge lawmakers to protect construction workers.

If you have a question about an accident at a construction site, either as a worker or a passerby, contact us for a FREE case evaluation. We have been representing victims of construction site accidents since 1977.

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