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.
A construction site near the intersection of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan was the scene of a fatal incident on Saturday, May 26. That morning, a large glass panel fell from the first floor of one of the city's largest skyscrapers, the Central Park Tower, killing a security guard and injuring a worker standing beneath it.
Most people accept that construction is a relatively dangerous career path. There are certainly many potential risk factors that construction workers must face on a daily basis. They may need to climb ladders or work on top of scaffolding. Falls are a common source of injury and even of fatalities. They also work around a lot of moving objects, including heavy machinery and supplies. The tools of the trade can also pose a risk, from physical injury caused by a malfunction to crushing injuries.
Although there are times when scaffolding makes it easier to complete a job, there is no denying the fact that it also increases the risk of an accident, injuries and even death.