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.
The construction sector added 3,600 new jobs in the five boroughs of New York City in the 12-month period ending May 2014, according to the New York State Department of Labor. The other growth areas in NYC employment in this period included education and health services, professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality and financial services. Manufacturing and information services were more or less flat, but government employment declined. The overall private sector employment numbers rose by 2.3 percent during the period, and seven out of nine industry sectors added jobs.
Given the rise in employment in the city, we can expect a corresponding rise in workplace accidents and injuries, especially in the particularly dangerous employment sector of construction. Data for construction injuries and fatalities are not available for New York City for this time period. However, we can learn from earlier data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that gives us an idea of where to expect injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the construction trades and other significant industries in the City of New York.
According to data for the period 2011-2012, the construction industry was the second-most dangerous job sector in the city, with 20 fatalities in the sub-categories that include building construction, remodelling, specialty trades, foundation and building exterior contractors, and building equipment contractors. The industry sector with the most work-related fatalities in the same period was the trade, transportation and utilities sector, with 26 fatalities in the city during the period.
Both federal and U.S. statistics tend to lag behind the current year in reporting, so obtaining up-to-the minute numbers can be challenging. However, the wealth of data available to the persistent researcher is remarkable, so it is worth persevering to get the big picture about fatalities, injuries and other work-related data for New York City.