For the third year in a row, New York construction accidents decreased. In 2021, the NY Department of Buildings (DOB) indicated there were 712 incidents that occurred on or near jobsites. This was a 10% decrease from 2020. Incidents included:
According to Construction Dive, the decline in incidents began in 2019. Furthermore, 2019 was the first decrease in almost 10 years. However, although the number incidents down trended, 2021 saw one more death and three more injuries than there were in 2020.
The DOB believes the following factors resulted in the reduced number of incidents:
Several fall injuries and fatalities spurred the DOB to launch a three-month-long “Zero Tolerance” campaign. As result, inspectors examined 7,443 job sites and issued 1,449 stop work orders based on hazardous work conditions. Contractors with violations faced up to $25,000 in penalties.
The decrease in site injuries and campaign coincided with these actions. In fact, construction related injuries fell from 44.6 per month for the first five months of 2021 to 37.3 per month during the last seven months.
The department continued with its unannounced inspections of larger city sites. To meet the demands of a limited time frame, it borrowed inspectors from other units.
However, the decrease in incidents also coincided with a decrease in construction workers. In 2021, the construction industry employed 40,500 workers, which was a lower number than the 41,300 workers employed in 2020.
Another significant factor is that worker falls remained the most common cause of death and injury in the construction industry, according to the DOL.
New York has robust laws to protect construction workers involved in injuries involving falls from heights. Our attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP can answer your questions in a free consultation and determine whether grounds exist to sue. Call us at 516-248-2234 or 718-539-3100 or reach out to us through our contact form.