New York City is the construction industry capital of the world. Every day, massive new projects begin and others are completed. Our city has seen tremendous growth in the construction industry over the last few years, with residential and commercial buildings being erected all around us. With that progress comes profit and responsibility. While the construction industry is exploding, we have unfortunately also witnessed countless accidents on construction sites throughout New York City. Hard working people are victims in these accidents, leaving spouses and children unable to fend for themselves. For instance in 2006 and 2007, figures maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that there were almost 500 construction site deaths in New York alone. These figures are both astounding and sad. The true tragedy in all of this is that many of these accidents could have been avoided if there was a premium placed on safety.
On August 18, 2009, as reported in the New York Daily News, there was another tragedy on a construction site in Brooklyn. A 42 year old bricklayer was killed when the scaffold he was working on collapsed, sending him falling five stories to his death, leaving a wife without a husband and children without a father. Two injured co-workers were rescued by our brave firefighters. As the investigation into this accident unfolds, it was revealed that the construction project received at least 10 violations prior to the accident. Despite this fact, it was business as usual and, incredibly, the construction site continued to operate leading to this tragic accident.
In just the last year, we have seen faulty cranes, collapsing scaffolds, makeshift ladders and fires result in horrible accidents where hard working people are victims. Despite the publicity these events have received, and promises by building owners, leaders in the construction industry and government officials to make worker safety a priority, these tragic events continue.
Throughout New York City, construction projects move forward, with owners and contractors making enormous profits. Unfortunately, meeting deadlines and schedules in order to increase profitability results in cutting corners with regards to worker safety. The result of which is seen over and over again….otherwise preventable construction accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and death to unwary hard working construction workers.
Yesterday’s tragedy in Brooklyn again highlights the need to continue the fight to protect workers and make worker safety a priority at construction sites throughout New York City.
At Block O’Toole & Murphy we are committed to fighting for the rights of construction workers injured on the job. The trial attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy continue to fight to seek justice for the ironworkers, laborers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other trades that make New York a better place to live.