Increase in Construction accidents
In the past two years, that has been a dramatic increase in construction accidents, due to the construction boom in this city. There have been over 300 injuries sustained in construction accidents in the past year and 10 people have been killed. In the period between July 2014 and July 2015, the percentage of accidents increased by over 53% from the previous year.
“The total number of accidents was 314 over the period, 52 percent above the trend. The number of new construction permits over the same period increased at a much slower rate, about 11 percent, with renovation permits up about 6 percent, the New York Times reported.” (The Real Deal, NY Real Estate News)
There has been a huge increase in the amount of buildings that are being constructed citywide; transforming plain old blocks into construction zones for both commercial and residential facilities.
“A review of every construction fatality in the past two years by The New York Times has found that many could have been, as a federal investigation into one accident put it, “completely avoidable.” Time and again, in thousands of pages of safety reports, handwritten notes, crude drawings, lawsuits and other documents, as well as interviews with the workers’ relatives and friends, the same issues emerged. Most construction sites where workers died failed to take basic steps to prevent them from falling. Workers frequently did not wear harnesses or helmets, as required by law. Supervision was often lacking. In many of the projects, a premium was placed on speed, causing workers to take dangerous shortcuts.” (NY Times)
Most of these accidents have occurred in Midtown, in smaller projects which are not regulated as much larger ones are. “They typically involved smaller projects, where contractors would hire nonunion workers with little training. The contractors were often cited for previously failing safety violations and not paying penalties.” (TheRealDeal)
For further information on the “Construction Crisis”, see the NY Times article written by David W. Chen:Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York