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December 2014 Archives

Workplace Safety Protests by NYC Construction Workers

Construction workers rallied a week ago to draw attention to the working conditions at the JDS Development Group's building site at 111 W. 57th Street. There were around 1,000 workers at this event; a similar event in October drew nearly 8,000 workers. The protest was organized by the Buildings and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) of Greater New York.

NHTSA Releases Car Accident Stats for 2014

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released the most recent edition of Traffic Safety Facts, which reports traffic statistics from across the country for the year 2013. There's good news in these numbers: Traffic accident fatalities declined in 2013 after a spike in 2012. Injuries also declined, from 2.4 million in 2012 to 2.3 million in 2013, although the NHTSA does not consider this statistically significant. Drunk driving crashes also declined in 2013, although by only 2.5 percent, compared to the 3.1 percent decline overall.

Car Accidents Could be Reduced with More Taxi Driver Training

Traffic in New York City, especially Manhattan, is usually a sea of yellow because of all the cabs crowding the city streets. Not surprisingly, many of the car accidents in Manhattan involve cabs. Overall in New York City, between eight and 10 percent of motor vehicle accidents involve yellow cabs and livery cabs. Even though this is a disproportionately low percentage of crashes, taxi accidents appear to cause more serious injuries than those involving other vehicles, perhaps because taxi drivers often operate faster than drivers of personal cars. And the proportion of taxis involved in traffic accidents appears to be inching up, according to statistics provided by New York State.

Two Fires Leave Victims Seriously Burned

Cold weather is often accompanied by house and apartment fires.  People use space heaters, old heating systems fail when first put to the test in the fall, and the homeless sometimes start fires accidentally in their efforts to get warm. All of these scenarios can lead to fires that result in serious burns or wrongful death.

Executive Order May Improve Workplace Safety

Undocumented construction workers are at greater risk for injury and death because they are generally unwilling to risk deportation by reporting unsafe working conditions. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation by negligent employers who compromise workplace safety in their efforts to cut costs.

Update on Crane Accident Trial in NYC

The man who owned the crane that was involved in a fatal 2008 accident on the Upper East Side admitted that he never looked at the wreckage after the accident because he is afraid of heights.  Apparently he also does not know what the acronym OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) stands for. 

Plan to Reduce Traffic Accidents at Lincoln Center to Be Unveiled

Anyone who has tried to go to a performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center knows that it is often difficult to get there.  Whether a person is walking, going by taxi, or emerging from the subway at 66th Street, it’s a real challenge to get to the destination on time and uninjured. 

Metro-North Train Accident, One Year Later

On the one-year anniversary of the Metro-North train crash, has anything changed to convince passengers that they are safe when taking trains to New York City from upstate New York and Connecticut?  On December 1, 2013, a train from Poughkeepsie bound for Grand Central station derailed at Spuyten Dyvil in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring more than 60.

November Bus Accident Leaves 26 Injured Near Syracuse, NY

It’s amazing no one was killed in an upstate New York bus accident near Syracuse last month.  A Trailways motor coach bound for New York City hit a car abandoned in the middle of I-81 . The crash occurred in the early morning hours of November 6. Although 26 people were transported to local hospitals for treatment, only the bus driver sustained life-threatening injuries.

Trenching Accident Kills Construction Worker

A ceiling collapsed in a Staten Island car dealership last Friday, killing a construction worker.  The man was working on demolishing the building’s interior partitions. The dealership’s workers were in an adjoining building when the ceiling collapsed.  Three other construction workers were able to escape when the ceiling fell.