Throughout New York City, signs of economic progress and prosperity are abound. One of the most noticeable indicators of the city’s strong economy revolves around the current building boom. Already this year a total of 43,783 building permits have been issued—a number that by year's end could rival the record-setting building permit numbers of the 1960s.
With thousands of residential and commercial buildings being renovated and constructed throughout the city's five boroughs, thousands of construction workers report to work sites and put their lives at risk every day. Unfortunately, some of these workers are paying the ultimate price for the city's prosperity as the construction worker death toll for 2015 recently climbed to seven.
According to a New York Times article, a 30-year-old male worker recently plunged 30 feet to his death after the platform on which he was standing collapsed. The fatal accident occurred while the man was performing assigned work duties in an elevator shaft. According to reports, the worker was not wearing a safety harness when he was completing work inside the elevator shaft.
In the wake of the tragic accident, an immediate stop work order was issued. The man's death was preceded by other safety violations against his construction employer including one for failing to ensure that a worker who scaled a 15 to 20 foot wall wore a harness.
Numerous regulations and laws exist to provide for the health and safety of construction workers. To help prevent injury and death, construction employers have a legal duty to provide employees with the proper training and safety equipment. Employers who don’t take the proper and necessary steps to protect workers may be held liable for their failures.
Source: Crain's New York Business, "Number of building permits plunges," Greg David, Sept. 1, 2015
New York Magazine, "Construction Workers Dies After Falling Down Elevator Shaft in Manhattan," Jamie Fuller, Aug. 2015