From the moment they step onto a work site, construction workers are often confronted with hazards that can lead to serious injuries, illnesses and tragic deaths. Fatal and nonfatal construction accidents often occur during the assembly, demolition and maintenance of buildings, bridges, railways and related structures.
In 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tallied 236 fatal occupational injuries in New York State. Of those fatalities, 53 were suffered by construction industry workers.
That’s an average of one construction worker per week.
OSHA also reported that approximately 2,100 nonfatal injuries and illnesses were recorded in New York in 2015 related to the construction of buildings.
Construction accidents can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common include:
- Unsafe Construction Sites
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Ladder Accidents
- Crane Accidents
- Unsafe Construction Equipment
- Inadequate Safety Devices
Unfortunately, some fatal and nonfatal injuries are unavoidable. Those called to work under hazardous conditions are dependent on others for their safety. Additionally and all too often, economic considerations are given priority over job site safety, which may lead to serious injury or death of those for whom the law provides special rights and protection.
Precautions can and should be taken to ensure that every worker who steps onto a construction site leaves in the same condition in which they arrived. Furthermore, responsible worksite managers should make every effort to keep their employees safe and remind them of specific dangers.
Some steps workers can take to avoid accidents include:
- Constantly wearing proper safety gear, including hard hats, gloves, masks, goggles and highly visible clothing.
- Maintaining a clean work site and eliminating clutter.
- Ensuring that all communication devices (such as two-way radios and phones) are fully charged and working correctly.
- Regularly inspecting construction equipment.
- Following safety protocol in the event of inclement weather, mass disasters or emergencies.
Construction projects take place year-round in New York. With these opportunities, workers face a high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. But those risk factors can be mitigated by taking proper cautionary steps.
Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo is committed to helping construction workers and other hardworking men and women who have sustained work injuries. If you need to speak with one of our experienced New York accident lawyers, we are pleased to offer a free consultation.