New York City's building boom has caused construction accidents to soar, with fatalities doubling and injuries increasing by 17%, according to the city’s Building Department.
Construction accidents killed eight people in the first seven months of the year compared to four fatalities during the same period in 2017. In total, 469 people were injured in 457 construction accidents through July 2018. The most recent construction-related death occurred in a West Village residential building on Grove Street, according to DOB records. The fatality was caused by a live wire, which electrocuted a worker on July 16.
Just days before the Thanksgiving holiday, a construction worker in Brooklyn was killed after being struck by falling construction material at a job site in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Another worker was killed days later in Brooklyn after being crushed to death by falling debris. The family claims that the worksite was unsafe and that no one should have been working on the roof that day.
The construction industry is a notoriously dangerous one. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 20% of all U.S. workplace fatalities occurred on construction job sites in 2013. In 2016, 37.5% of work-related deaths were in the construction industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Falling debris has caused at least 50 injuries at job sites this year, the DOB says. A construction superintendent working in the Upper East Side was knocked out by a falling scaffold frame in July this year.
At least 12 accidents this year occurred at the Hudson Yards construction project at the 400 and 500 blocks of West 33rd Street.
All of these accidents and injuries are occurring at a time when the Big Apple is experiencing a boom in construction. The DOB said it issued more than 160,000 construction permits last year, an all-time high. The city also had a record number of hardhats – reaching 45,242 – according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
New York City Mayor de Blasio has launched safety initiatives to help combat the problem. In October, the mayor approved a requirement for hardhats to log more training hours. Penalties for safety lapses were quadrupled in 2016 and new enforcement inspectors were hired. A new law passed last year also requires the DOB to publish all construction-related injuries and deaths online.
“Every life, injury and accident in construction is finally being counted, because they matter,” said Ben Kallos, Upper East Side Councilman, sponsor of the legislation. “We can and must do better as a city to ensure proper training, on the job experience, coupled with the right to say no to danger.”
Publish Date : 28 Kasım 2018 Çarşamba 16:15
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