Construction fatalities are on the rise, according to preliminary data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, in its latest Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the BLS reports that there were an alarming 874 construction deaths in the private sector in 2014 alone - an increase of nearly six percent from 2013, not to mention the largest total since 2008.
While the BLS report does not indicate how many of these construction-related deaths occurred solely in New York State, it does show that workplace fatalities as a whole increased more than 14 percent throughout the state during the same period, from 178 in 2013 to 203 in 2014.
More work is needed to curb construction injuries and fatalities in New York
Sadly, accidents and injuries continue to occur on worksites all over the state despite the fact that New York has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to the protection of construction workers.
For instance, New York Labor Code 240 - also known as the scaffolding law - requires contractors and developers to provide workers with sufficient safety equipment when working at elevated levels, including properly installed scaffolding, ladders and hoists. If a construction worker falls while working on scaffolding, this particular law may allow him or her to seek compensation for any injuries suffered. However, while the scaffolding law is an effective tool for injured construction workers, it does not change the fact that workers still suffer falls on a regular basis.
You, as a construction worker, should not have to suffer simply because a developer or general contractor fails to take the proper precautions on the construction site - precautions that are often required by law. If you have been injured while working construction, it is often a good idea to seek legal representation. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of you injury and help explain what legal options may be available.
Source: BLS News Release, NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2014 (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf)