According to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB),
construction accidents, injuries, and deaths in the city have increased in the first seven months
of 2018 in comparison to last year’s numbers during the same period.
There is an 18.4 percent increase in accidents from 386 to 457, a 17 percent
rise in injuries from 401 to 469. Fatal construction accidents doubled
from four to eight. From January through July 2018, the highest number
of accidents (248), injuries (253), and fatalities (4) out of the five
boroughs occurred in Manhattan.
It appears the recent boom in construction activity in New York City is
one of the main factors. A report by the New York Building Congress states
construction projects are projected to cost a total of $61.5 billion by
the end of 2018. This is a 25 percent rise in construction spending compared to 2017.
To increase worker safety throughout New York City, city officials have
introduced regulations in response to the recent boom of construction
projects and accidents, requiring companies to only require construction
workers who have finished an apprenticeship program.
In 2017, the New York City Council passed a new regulation which requires
construction workers to complete 40 hours of safety training and supervisors
to complete 62 hours of training by May 2019. Yet, if the DOB concludes
there aren’t enough training facilities to fulfill these requirements,
the completion date will be set for September 2020.
For construction workers already in the industry, it is mandatory for them
to take a 10-hour OSHA course by March 2018 and the rest of the hours
by December. If the DOB decides the training capacity is insufficient,
the December deadlines will be pushed back to June 2019.
These regulations, however, have been met with controversy. The non-union
construction industry complained that 50 percent of apprenticeship programs
in New York City is sponsored by the union. In addition, taking fulfilling
these safety requirements would be extremely costly to independent contractors
and small construction businesses.
If you have been injured in a construction accident in New York City,
contact our experienced legal team at
Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP and request a free consultation today.