A Canadian charter bus, carrying teens from St. John, New Brunswick, crashed into a scaffold in mid-town Manhattan last week. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries. However, the accident illustrates the dangers both of driving in New York traffic and the dangers of construction work that involves scaffolding.
Some jobs are more dangerous than others. We have written often in this blog about the dangers of construction work. What about other dangerous occupations?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that in 2012, the last year for which there are complete statistics, there were 4, 628 workplace deaths across the United States - an average of about 3.2 deaths per 100,000. However, some occupations have fatality rates that are much higher than this average
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines on preventing back injuries in the healthcare industry. It turns out that workers in nursing homes and residential care facilities were sidelined twice as often by musculoskeletal injuries than construction workers. Why? It turns out that manual patient moving and shifting is more dangerous to the back and other muscles than high-risk construction work.
The OSHA brochure, “50 Tips for More Effective Safety Training,” also describes other safety hazards faced by healthcare workers. These include:
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Other biological hazards
- Laser hazards
- Workplace violence
- Chemical exposure
- Radioactive material
This post is about a Canadian situation, but it also applies to New York City and the United States generally. In the province of Saskatchewan, workers under age 25 suffer more workplace accidents than do older workers. Most injuries occur during July and August, when young workers are out of school and have temporary jobs.
Most of the jobs filled by young people in the summer involve the construction, retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors. A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board (WCB) says that most work injuries occur to hands, backs, shoulders, head and eyes.
Statistics about work-related injuries and fatalities in New York City are available from a number of sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and the New York State Department of Labor. What can we learn from this statistical information? Several examples follow.
It turns out that nearly half of the workers at New York City's food plants have been injured workplace accidents. The study, conducted by the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project and released June 24, reported that 42 percent of workers who prepare and pack food products said they were hurt on the job.
Fifteen percent of the respondents said they slipped and fell. Fourteen percent were cut, and 10 percent experienced back injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has citied five companies in the death of an Amazon employee in a warehouse in New Jersey. This happed one week after OSHA started investigating the death of a worker in another warehouse, this one in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The worker was crushed after being pulled into a conveyor belt while performing sorting work.
The work accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy are following a tragic workplace accident in which a hard-working 43 year-old family man was killed.
Stephen Frosch, a 43 year-old sanitation worker, died in a horrible workplace fatality. over the weekend. According to police reports, Frosch was struck and pinned by another street sweeper that was being operated by a co-worker. At the time of this grueling accident, Frosch was working on the street sweeper assigned to him at a Department of Sanitation garage in Queens. Reports indicate that the co-worker who struck Frosch did not see him. The horrific accident unfolded as co-workers watched nearby. Emergency personnel raced to the scene to try to administer medical aid to the victim but they were unable to save him. Stephen Frosch was pronounced dead at the scene.
The NYC construction accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP are following a frightening potentially tragic accident that occurred last Friday morning, June 20, 2014, at a construction site on East 57th Street in Manhattan. An exterior scaffold on a hi-rise building collapsed, leaving two workers scrambling for their lives while dangling some 12 stories high and over the crowded city street below.