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Posted in Construction Accidents on November 9, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the construction industry in NYC. As construction ground to a halt, the number of construction accidents and construction-related fatalities fell.
But this does not mean the construction industry suddenly became safe. Construction work still has more occupation-related deaths than any other job in New York, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Learn about the reasons behind the recent drop in NYC construction accidents and why this decrease might not last.
According to the NYC Department of Buildings Construction Safety Report, NYC had 712 construction accidents in 2021. This was the lowest number since 2018 and represented a downward trend over the past four years.
These accidents injured 505 construction workers and killed nine others. Both injuries and deaths were down from 2020. They also represented the lowest numbers in over ten years.
Although accidents, injuries, and deaths in 2021 were at some of the lowest levels recorded in the past several years, you should not assume that this trend will continue. Instead, the drop probably resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic slowdown.
In 2020, citywide shutdowns meant that many construction projects stalled. Even when the shutdowns ended, builders had trouble getting construction materials. Together, these problems reduced the number of workers on-site and, as a result, reduced the accidents that could injure them.
The Construction Safety Report mentions that the number of building permits rebounded from the lows seen during the pandemic. But a permit does not necessarily mean that a construction project will actually go forward.
Also, builders must get permits for renovations as well as new construction. As a result, the projects permitted in 2021 might not have involved as many workers as new construction projects in prior years.
Another reason to look at the 2020 and 2021 numbers with skepticism is that construction deaths had been trending upward since 2017 before falling during the pandemic in 2020. NYC had 24 construction-related deaths in 2019 before falling 46% during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
As the construction industry resumes pre-pandemic levels, the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths will probably rise. This may take a few more years since building projects require design, financing, and materials that can take years to complete.
Construction work causes more deaths than any other profession in NYC. Over 22% of on-the-job deaths in New York happened on construction sites, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Retail had the second-highest workplace accidents in New York, accounting for almost 12% of the state’s worker deaths. Transportation and warehousing contributed an additional 10% to the state’s worker fatalities. This means construction caused roughly the same amount of deaths as the next two industries combined.
The dangers posed by construction work come from working around heavy machinery, elevated workplaces, and dangerous tools.
According to OSHA, the four most common causes of fatalities on construction sites include:
These types of accidents account for roughly 57% of construction worker fatalities.
Injured construction workers have a few options for seeking personal injury compensation. Construction companies must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance pays medical benefits and partial disability benefits. It also pays death benefits for fatal accidents.
You can typically also pursue compensation from any party except your employer, who might have played a part in your injuries. From manufacturers of defective safety equipment to negligent drivers, you might have an injury claim to cover the losses that workers’ comp does not cover.
If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City construction accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.
We have two convenient locations in New York:
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242