New York City has seen a decline in construction-related injuries, but there is still data showing that accidents are more frequent at sites where safety training programs were inadequate or nonexistent.
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, 470 construction-related injuries and seven construction fatalities occurred in the 12 months ending November 30, 2020. While this is a drop from the previous year’s numbers, the decrease is at least partially a result of the city’s shutdown of non-essential construction between March 27 and June 8, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, some of the drops may be attributable to increased safety training requirements. In 2017, New York City passed a law requiring workers at most major construction sites to prove they had completed 30 hours of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training. The Department of Buildings reported that construction-related injuries decreased by 26.5 percent after the launch of its Construction Safety Compliance (CSC) Unit in September 2018.
Due to the demonstrated link between safety training and accident reduction, the city has gone to greater lengths to get better results. Workers at job sites with city-mandated Site Safety Plans were supposed to have completed a minimum of 40 hours of OSHA training by September 1, 2020. The deadline was extended until March 1, 2021, due to the continuing pandemic.
If you were injured or a loved one was killed on a construction job site, an experienced construction accident attorney can review the circumstances and advise whether the lack of adequate safety training may have been a factor in the accident. If so, you may be allowed to bring a claim of negligence against the construction company or a contractor, seeking legal damages beyond the benefits available through workers’ compensation.
The Brooklyn law firm Rubenstein & Rynecki has over 30 years of experience helping construction accident victims and their families receive fair compensation for injuries or fatalities. To schedule a consultation at our Brooklyn office, please call (718) 522-1020 or contact us online.