The construction industry has always posed dangers for employees. However, the construction industry across New York City has become particularly deadly recently, with stories circulating in the news constantly about serious or fatal worker injuries.
According to CBS New York, statistics show that accidents, injuries and deaths are all increasing. City data shows that work site deaths are up 33% from five years ago while injuries are up by 221%.
Common injuries suffered by construction workers
The recently released Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index tracks the top causes of the most serious injuries at work. According to the report, the top five causes of serious injuries in the construction industry include:
- Falls to a lower level. Falls from an elevated service cause the most fatalities, causing 42% of deaths in the industry between 1982 and 2015.
- Struck by object or equipment. Being struck by or caught in between heavy machinery or other equipment can cause serious head injuries.
- Overexertion. Overexertion from outside sources can occur from working in hot conditions, constantly repeating the same motion and more.
- Falls on the same level. Workers can become injured in slip-and-fall accidents on the same level from loose debris, unmarked slippery surfaces and more.
- Slip or trip. Even without a fall, a slip or trip can cause serious injuries, like sprains, fractures, back or shoulder injuries and more.
Suffering accidents like these and more can result in injuries that force workers to take time off work to recover.
Contributing factors to the rise in serious or fatal injuries
There are many contributing factors to the rise in serious construction accidents. While the city maintains that it puts pressure on contractors to comply with safety regulations, several workers told CBS New York that factors like underbidding jobs, cutting corners, pressure to meet deadlines and the pressure to replace older infrastructure all play a role in the mounting dangers.
However, the city is taking steps to crack down on non-compliant work sites. While workers currently must have 10 hours of safety training, by 2020, all must have 40 hours. Additionally, employers who fail to properly train workers will receive significant fines.
If you suffer an injury on a construction site, know your rights to recover compensation. Report your injury to your supervisor immediately, seek medical attention and file a workers’ compensation claim to collect financial relief.