Despite extensive OHSA regulations and myriad New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) safety initiatives, there are over 150,000 construction site injuries every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just within the last two weeks, a treacherous construction site accident was reported in NYC that inflicted death and injury.
Chinatown building collapses
Per the New York Daily News, a construction crew was demolishing a building on Lafayette Street when the rear wall collapsed and buried one of the workers who later succumbed to his injuries under rubble. Two other workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital and the third injured person was treated onsite.
A February 7th stop-order related to safety hazards had only recently been lifted by the DOB because it was thought that relevant concerns had been addressed.
Acute risks in construction
Sadly, this case exemplifies the risks construction workers face. The top causes of injury and death in the construction industry are as follows:
- Falls: Much construction work is done on scaffolding and falls to a lower level are the top cause of injury and death.
- Struck-by accidents: Being struck by objects in motion or caught between or under falling debris or cave-ins is the next most prevalent hazard.
- Electrocution: Construction workers face more risk of electrocution than workers in every other industry combined (per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Machinery accidents: Mishaps with vehicles or construction equipment are enormously dangerous.
- Noise levels: Construction workers often don’t guard well enough against the hazardous noise levels they’re exposed to and suffer hearing loss as a result.
- Explosions and burns: Construction sites are fertile ground for sparks, electrical shorts, overheated machinery and the stray cigarette butt gone awry.
- Heat stress: This can inflict illness as well as trigger injury by weakening workers with dehydration, disorientation and dizziness.
If you’ve endured injury or exposure to harmful environmental elements, it’s wise to consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law. At the very least, you can seek an initial claim review so you can decide how best to proceed.