May 18, 2022


Anything but ordinary

1 of 4 workplace deaths in New York are on a construction site

Dive Transient:

  • Development perform in New York — city and statewide — remains the most fatal profession in the nation. A total of 41 laborers died on the task in New York state in 2020, a lessen from 2019. Even so, fewer staff climbed scaffolding and pounded nails through the pandemic, so the fee of fatalities however rose.
  • The fatality rate rose to 11.1 fatalities for every 100,000 employees that year, up from 10.2 the yr in advance of.
  • Workplace fatalities in construction accounted for 24% of fatalities on the task in New York, in contrast to 21% nationwide, in accordance to a labor group’s evaluation of facts from the New York Department of Buildings, the Bureau of Labor Studies and OSHA. 

Dive Perception:

The data examination comes from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Overall health (NYCOSH), an independent labor group with membership of staff, unions, activists and wellness and safety industry experts. 

“New York should really be a national chief in employee safety, but the details expose that we proceed to lead the nation in development employee fatalities, in spite of COVID-19 shutdowns,” Charlene Obernauer, NYCOSH Executive Director, stated in a assertion. 

Other conclusions from the report incorporate:

  • In 2020, OSHA performed the fewest inspections in the agency’s history, probable for the reason that of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • However, OSHA fines for fatalities elevated for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Latino construction personnel keep on being disproportionately very likely to die on the job, accounting for 18% of fatalities, but 10% of the populace.
  • Practically 80% of worker fatalities have been on non-union jobsites.

“The charge of development fatalities in New York is unacceptable,” Gary LaBarbera, president of the Setting up and Construction Trades Council of Larger New York, stated in a assertion shared with Building Dive. “I urge lawmakers to carry on to defend the state’s scaffold basic safety legislation, maximize oversight and enact stiffer penalties towards terrible actors.”

Scaffold Legislation

NYCOSH known as on lawmakers to expand polices to hold “negligent contractors” liable for endangering workers.

One particular regulation that is one of a kind to New York, the Scaffold Law, locations entire legal responsibility on proprietors and contractors if an staff falls and does not have the prescribed protective gear.

Nevertheless, employer groups fervently oppose the law. Contractors and sector groups have lobbied politicians for its repeal, declaring that it enormously improves legal responsibility charges on assignments.

In April 2021, contractor teams joined the New York Condition Meeting of Mayors and Municipal Officers in asking Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to exempt the $11.6 billion Hudson River Tunnel Challenge from the Scaffold Legislation. The liability expenses, the opponents stated, could insert $180 million and $300 million to the project’s bottom line.

But NYCOSH main Obernauer defended the Scaffold Legislation, noting the fines for design worker fatalities are as well very low. Moreover, construction companies are only liable when they are unsuccessful to give personnel with the correct equipment.

“The Scaffold Law presents a disincentive to disregard protection protections and cut corners, making criminally unsafe position web pages,” Obernauer stated.