It recently was reported that workplace fatalities increased during 2010 in New York City. There were 63 fatalities in 2009 and 69 fatalities during 2010. The number of workplace fatalities nationwide was nearly the same for the two years. What was particularly disturbing was number of fatalities that were related to workplace falls. Workplace fatalities from falls more than doubled, and nearly half of those falls occurred within the construction industry.
Especially in a major city like New York, construction workers play an essential role in making our city what it is – a center of commerce. Often construction workers are performing tasks that no one else is willing or able to take on. We owe a duty to keep our construction workers safe by providing safe working conditions, equipment that operates properly and scaffolding that will not collapse.
Often industries will wait for legislatures to pass safety regulations before any changes will be made for the safety of workers. However, legislatures will do little if there is no perceived need to act. Often an injured worker that brings a lawsuit against its employer or a manufacturer of a particular product or item that caused the worker’s injury will bring such needed attention of a safety concern to these lawmakers.
The majority of workers killed in the accidents ranged from 25 to 54 years old. It would surprise no one to discover that most of these workers were the breadwinners in their families and that many individuals were dependent upon them for their financial well being.
Source: The Real Deal Online, “NYC workplace fatalities up in 2010,” Oct. 24, 2011