Most people are aware that construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. New data shows that the problem has been getting steadily worse in New York City, with a massive increase in construction-related injuries and deaths over the past year.
According to data compiled by the New York City Department of Buildings, the number of construction-related injuries and accidents climbed approximately 40 percent over the previous year in 2015. All five boroughs saw significant increases in accidents and injuries, with 323 total accidents reported – up from 231 accidents in 2014. In addition, there were nine more deaths in 2015 than in 2014.
In a statement by Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler, many of these accidents were entirely preventable. In response, the department has developed an ambitious plan to improve safety at construction sites. Among its stipulations is an effort to revoke or suspend the licenses of construction firms that repeatedly violate the city’s construction code, penalizing hundreds of contractors who don’t make an effort to prioritize safety. Work sites found to be in violation of safety rules will be shut down.
This move is in response to a call for greater safety efforts at U.S. construction sites during the second annual Safety Week, which took place in May of last year at the site of Hudson Yards. After a string of construction worker deaths, 44 construction companies came together to demand change in May of 2015.
As the real estate market continues to improve, more building permits are being issued for new construction, major alterations, and demolition jobs. With so much activity ($36 billion worth last year, to be exact), it is extremely important to keep safety at the forefront of all projects to ensure that workers, pedestrians, and all other people in or around work sites can be protected from preventable hazards.
Read more on this story online via Commercial Observer.