Construction workers face a range of dangers each day that they go to their job sites. The size and weight of the materials they use, the power of the machines they operate, and the nature of the work they perform all introduce unique and hazardous conditions to their work responsibilities. Across New York, many construction workers have suffered painful and life-altering injuries while doing their jobs.
Many different tools and pieces of equipment may be used when a New York construction project is started. From tiny nails and screws to massive cranes and trucks, the building materials, electrical machinery, and additional hardware that must be on hand to complete the project can be extensive. When equipment and tools are properly handled and individuals are trained to use them, many equipment accidents on construction sites can be avoided. However, not all accidents of this nature arise from operator mistakes.
The construction industry is a booming part of the New York economy. From residential complexes to sprawling shopping centers to skyscraping office buildings, there are many different construction projects underway throughout the city and surrounding metropolitan area. Though machines and equipment are essential to putting up the homes and businesses that support New Yorkers' lives, construction workers are the heart of the efforts that go into new building projects.
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Humans have been erecting structures for thousands of years, and over time those structures have become sturdier and sounder. New Yorkers can often witness the painstaking care that goes into building a new shopping complex, office park, or residential high rise due to the massive number of construction projects that are always underway in the city. While they can watch new buildings go up from afar, most people cannot get close to structures that are being built.
In the last few months this New York-based personal injury and workers' compensation legal blog discussed the problem of falls on American construction sites. Falls are a serious threat to construction workers since they can suffer them in many different ways. Workers can fall from heights when they are not properly secured, from equipment when it moves, or even on flat ground when debris clutters their way and causes them to trip.
Construction workers possess great responsibilities. If they do not do their jobs well, the safety and security of New York residents could be threatened if the buildings, roads, and other structures they use are unsound or poorly built. As such, men and women who work in the construction industry work hard to ensure that the projects they complete are solid, safe, and secure.
The construction industry is an inherently dangerous environment for workers who choose to follow occupations within it. Certain types of accidents such as falls from scaffolding, crushing and machinery incidents, and others can afflict construction workers and leave them with serious and even life-threatening harm. Employers in New York and throughout the rest of the nation are required to follow certain regulations regarding safety at their construction sites, but despite these legislative and regulatory efforts individuals are still hurt while performing construction jobs.
So far, New York has seen twice as many construction-related fatalities in 2018 than the same time frame in 2017. While four people died on construction sites in the Big Apple in 2017, this year has seen eight fatalities so far, according to the NYC Department of Buildings.
Despite the large number of high-rise buildings here in New York City, not all serious construction accidents occur at high altitudes. Case in point is an accident that sent three construction workers to Harlem Hospital on June 25. One of them was reported to be in critical condition. Another was described as suffering nonlife-threatening, but nonetheless serious, injuries. The third reportedly suffered minor injuries.