New York City officials are cracking down on construction sites, as construction-related injuries have seen a significant uptick in recent years. According to a recent report, construction injuries in the metro rapidly increased by more than 60% last year, totaling 761 reported injuries; there were only 472 reported injuries back in 2015.
Initially, the city only required visits from inspectors when they heard about safety violation complaints. Today, its Buildings Department now has a unit solely responsible for conducting random inspections on larger construction sites.
Many have already received a visit
New York City conducted daily inspections on construction sites within the first nine months of the year. During that period, they issued more than 11,000 violations, totaling $15 million in fines. The report also said more than 2000 of those violations put specific projects on immediate halt due to hazardous working conditions. Such hazards include missing guardrails and lack of supervision. On some sites, inspectors implemented stop-work orders after being refused access.
There are mixed opinions about the results
Officials say the inspections have been effective so far, as the number of people getting hurt on construction sites dropped by 26% according to New York City data.
However, some construction workers and other advocates say more needs to get done to prevent severe injuries or fatalities. They say workers get put in risky situations due to lack of communication between contractors and a lack of safety enforcement due to tight project deadlines.
The debate over worker safety is far from over
Despite the recent site busts, some say more needs to be done. As the city is allegedly only performing spot inspections, some say they need to put more effort into follow-ups as conditions on construction sites can change daily.
It’s no surprise that construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, especially here in New York. Construction workers injured on the job through no fault of their own and don’t have workers’ compensation may wish to seek legal counsel. An experienced and diligent personal injury attorney can help evaluate their claims and take their case to court.