New York City Workplace Deaths Soared in 2017, Labor Report Says

Workplace deaths in New York City rose 55% in 2017, although fatalities in the construction industry remained flat, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released in January 2018.

In total, there were 87 workplace deaths in the five boroughs in 2017, the highest level since 2008. That compares with 56 deaths in 2016, the lowest level since 1992, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this data using these methods. Nationally, fatal work injuries fell less than 1% between 2016 and 2017, from 5,190 to 5,147.

An increase in falls, slips and trips drove the jump in worker deaths in New York City, with 31 people dying in 2017 compared with 13 the year before.

Martin Kohli, chief regional economist with the bureau, said an increase in worker deaths in New York City usually coincides with an uptick in construction fatalities. Construction remained the city’s most dangerous occupation, with 25% of workers who died employed as construction workers, carpenters or electricians. Men accounted for 89% of worker fatalities in New York City, compared with 93% nationwide.  Other industries where workplace deaths increased significantly include trade, transportation and utilities, where fatalities rose to 18 from 10.

Section 240 of the New York State Labor Law requires building owners and general contractors of buildings to provide workers with proper scaffolds, hoists, harnesses and other appropriate work site safety equipment for use when working at elevated heights. The most vital role that the law plays is to place the ultimate requirements and implementations of these laws on owners and contractors. As such, owners and contractors cannot avoid liability or shift the burden of responsibility to other workers or subcontractors when elevation related accidents occur. When a construction site accident occurs, there are statutes, laws and protections in place to help injured workers recover money damages. In addition to workers compensation benefits, lawsuits can be commenced against owners and contractors for violations of New York State Labor Laws. As has been mentioned in my prior articles, your immigration status has no effect on your right to commence a lawsuit. Whether you are a citizen, holder of a green card or an undocumented alien, you are entitled to the statutory protections afforded by section 240 of the Labor Laws.

Our law firm has represented many construction workers in accident cases.  Our investigation team can find the culpable parties and can insure that the insurance companies pay your medical bills and lost wages.  We also make sure that the responsible entities pay for your past, present and future pain and suffering as well as your future lost wages.

Remember when accidents happen — protect your rights!!
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