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Spike in NYC construction injuries and deaths raises safety concerns

Since the Great Depression of 2008, the U.S. economy continues to rebound. In New York City, signs of economic prosperity are abound as the city is in the midst of a building boom. As construction workers report to worksites across the city's five boroughs, concerns remain about whether or not construction managers are doing enough to keep workers safe.

During 2013, the Department of Buildings reported a total of four fatal construction accidents in the city. Last year, as the building boom picked up pace, that number doubled to eight. To date, less than four months into 2015, there have already been a total of seven construction-related deaths.

In addition to the alarming spike in construction fatalities, in recent years, there has also been a significant increase in the number of construction-related injuries. Last year’s reported injuries totaled 231, a significant jump from the 151 injuries that were reported during 2008.

On a daily basis, New York City construction workers must often perform work-related duties atop scaffolding, in the vicinity of moving machinery and from the depths of trenches. With this type of inherently dangerous work, good communication and proper safety gear are crucial to preventing accidents and the resulting injuries.

When construction workers do suffer injuries, they are often serious, painful and debilitating in nature. The very livelihoods of the men and women who work within the construction industry depend upon their ability to physically perform the work. Therefore, an injury to the head, back or extremities is not only painful, but can also adversely impact an individual's ability to return to work.

New York City construction workers who have suffered work-related injuries are entitled to workers' compensation. An attorney who advocates for injured workers can help fight to ensure an individual receives the maximum amount of compensation.

Source: Crain's New York Business, "2015 is looking to be a fatal year for construction," Joe Anuta, April 8, 2015

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