Throughout New York City, it’s common to see buildings covered in skeletal frames of metal bars and wooden planks. This is due in part to the current construction boom as well as the city's Scaffold Safety Law. The law was enacted in an effort to protect construction workers who must perform work at heights and outlines several requirements with regard to when scaffolds must be used and how they must be constructed and maintained.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, during 2013 alone, roughly one out of every five U.S. workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry. From scaling scaffolding and working from heights to performing excavation work and working in confined spaces; the many and varied dangers faced by construction workers mean that safety must always be a top priority.
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.
If you have been injured from a motor vehicle accident or a fall, your first trip may be to the hospital. At the hospital you will be asked how the injury happened. This will usually be documented in the hospital record. Following the discharge from the hospital when you see your attorney, the attorney will have you sign a retainer agreement which provides for the attorney's fees, usually being one third. Legal action will follow, if no reasonable offer is made by the insurance company, to settle your case.
Even though working in construction is inherently more dangerous than working in, say, a Midtown office building, it is not unreasonable for construction workers to expect for their employers to keep them safe. This means that employers need to have sufficient training, safety equipment and be in compliance with safety codes. With the very real risk of danger associated with construction work, employers cannot be lax with their own safety procedures.
Construction can be dangerous work, with 75 workers per year being killed in accidents in the state of New York alone. However, recent studies have shown that workers of Hispanic descent are more likely to die in construction accidents than workers of any other ethnic group. A report prepared by the Center for Popular Democracy shows that Latinos account for 74% of construction fatalities.
Construction workers in New York have some of the most dangerous jobs. They are expected to work with large machinery, heavy equipment and at soaring heights. It's not hard to imagine how a worker could become injured on a construction site.