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New York City is in the midst of a construction boom. While this might be a positive sign for the economy, it also brings about some solemn news for the men and women who are working hard on these projects. They are losing co-workers at an alarming rate. This doesn't even include the individuals who are injured on the job.

In the first seven months of 2018, there were eight construction worker deaths in the city. Last year, that same timeframe saw four deaths. The injury rate has also increased. In the first seven months of the year, there were 469 injuries, which is a 17 percent increase.

Safety must be a priority

Construction is the most dangerous job in New York City, so it is imperative that all construction companies take steps to ensure that their workers have the tools and training to remain safe. While falls are the most common cause of death for construction workers, the accidents that have happened this year don't fall into only that category.

On July 16, a worker was electrocuted when a live wire came into contact with his hardhat. Falling debris is another serious issue. At least 50 people have suffered injuries due to events of this nature so far this year. Hits to the head from falling objects can lead to death or very serious injuries, which is why all work sites must emphasize the importance of hardhats for anyone in the construction zone.

Some issues seem to come from lack of training. One worker drilled a screw into his hand. Whether this was due to improper training or simply not paying attention isn't noted. However, it is clear that workers must follow established safety protocols and be empowered to prevent accidents of this sort.

Improved training in New York City

Last year, Mayor de Blasio instituted a requirement that all construction workers must log in more training hours. Additionally, all construction-related injuries and deaths must be posed online by the Department of Buildings. These measures are a step in the right direction, but construction contracting companies must implement measures to help ensure that their work sites are safe. When this is missing, all the laws and regulations that are coming out won't keep workers from suffering catastrophic injuries or being killed.

When there is an accident at a work site, the victim is likely going to need to seek medical care. When the accident is fatal, the family members have to pick up the pieces and make final arrangements. Workers' compensation may help with these expenses, and third-party claims might be suitable in some cases, but it might take a lot of hard work to make either of these happen.

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Keogh Crispi

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Phone: 212-518-2417
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