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Unprecedented Construction Boom in NYC Highlights Need to Protect Workers Who Build Our City

We have long been pointing to the skies of New York City as evidence that construction is occurring at an unprecedented clip. Now, the data to prove it has been released. The numbers recently released by The Department of Buildings show a staggering increase in construction work taking place across the five boroughs. Keep reading to learn about these statistics.

New York City is in the midst of a remarkable stretch where it seems every block has some construction work taking place. The Department of Buildings has given permits for more than 52,000 residential units over the last year. This represents a 156% increase from the prior year, according to The New York Daily News. Additionally, and even more revealing, it is an almost 750% increase from the 2010 low, a period following an economic recession. Where is the bulk of this construction this taking place? Not surprisingly, Brooklyn is dominating the new construction arena with almost half of the work occurring in the borough that the entire world seems to be fascinated with. Brooklyn has more than tripled the amount of new construction from just the year before. The demand for new housing in the 'Borough of Churches' remains palpable.

The skyline and aesthetics of our city continue to evolve. The beauty of New York City is how dynamic it is, in its appearance, pulse and people. This is why so many people around the world want to live and visit here. The hardworking women and men responsible for the construction of this city and shaping how incredibly beautiful it is deserve strong worker safety laws so they are afforded the best opportunity to do their jobs, earn a living and get home to their families. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Nothing is simple.

In fact , wealthy developers, property owners and groups with large real estate interests continue to attack the worker safety laws, in particular Labor Law §240. Labor Law §240 requires the entities in the best position to control safety and enforce worker safety rules at a construction site to provide workers with a safe place to work and the appropriate equipment to perform their work. If they comply with this relatively simple and humane requirement then they are not responsible for any accidents that may occur. However, if they do fail to provide a safe place to work or the appropriate safety equipment and this failure causes a worker to sustain a serious injury or even be killed then they can be held civilly responsible for the damages. Accidents in this context frequently happen when the pressures to complete construction work overshadow the need for the work to be done safely. Who suffers when that happens? The hardworking folks who make this place what it is.

Detractors of the law claim it increases insurance premiums and, thus, decreases construction work in New York. Notably, those who seek to limit the strength and efficacy of worker safety protections will completely fail to recognize how construction is at an all-time high. Why? Because it doesn't fit within their narrative. The real motivation for change is money. These real estate conglomerates stand to pocket more cash with watered-down worker safety laws. The advocates for worker safety reform are willing to prioritize profits over the safety of the people in the construction industry. The laws are in place to protect workers and they are largely successful, evidenced by New York clearly being the state with the most construction in the country yet it remains the 5th safest one too. One thing is clear: the current worker safety laws are in no way chilling the amount of construction in New York, far from it.

As construction across New York increases, the need for strong worker safety laws becomes more apparent and necessary. This is an issue that is not going away and supporters of strong worker safety laws need to remain firm in pointing to why the laws remain critical.

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is committed to fighting on behalf of injured construction workers. You can learn more about these lawyers by reviewing the firm website at www.blockotoole.com.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/new-york-city-giant-construction-site-article-1.2312972

New York City is in the midst of a remarkable stretch where it seems every block has some construction work taking place. The Department of Buildings has given permits for more than 52,000 residential units over the last year. This represents a 156% increase from the prior year, according to The New York Daily News. Additionally, and even more revealing, it is an almost 750% increase from the 2010 low, a period following an economic recession. Where is the bulk of this construction this taking place? Not surprisingly, Brooklyn is dominating the new construction arena with almost half of the work occurring in the borough that the entire world seems to be fascinated with. Brooklyn has more than tripled the amount of new construction from just the year before. The demand for new housing in the 'Borough of Churches' remains palpable.

The skyline and aesthetics of our city continue to evolve. The beauty of New York City is how dynamic it is, in its appearance, pulse and people. This is why so many people around the world want to live and visit here. The hardworking women and men responsible for the construction of this city and shaping how incredibly beautiful it is deserve strong worker safety laws so they are afforded the best opportunity to do their jobs, earn a living and get home to their families. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Nothing is simple.

In fact , wealthy developers, property owners and groups with large real estate interests continue to attack the worker safety laws, in particular Labor Law §240. Labor Law §240 requires the entities in the best position to control safety and enforce worker safety rules at a construction site to provide workers with a safe place to work and the appropriate equipment to perform their work. If they comply with this relatively simple and humane requirement then they are not responsible for any accidents that may occur. However, if they do fail to provide a safe place to work or the appropriate safety equipment and this failure causes a worker to sustain a serious injury or even be killed then they can be held civilly responsible for the damages. Accidents in this context frequently happen when the pressures to complete construction work overshadow the need for the work to be done safely. Who suffers when that happens? The hardworking folks who make this place what it is.

Detractors of the law claim it increases insurance premiums and, thus, decreases construction work in New York. Notably, those who seek to limit the strength and efficacy of worker safety protections will completely fail to recognize how construction is at an all-time high. Why? Because it doesn't fit within their narrative. The real motivation for change is money. These real estate conglomerates stand to pocket more cash with watered-down worker safety laws. The advocates for worker safety reform are willing to prioritize profits over the safety of the people in the construction industry. The laws are in place to protect workers and they are largely successful, evidenced by New York clearly being the state with the most construction in the country yet it remains the 5th safest one too. One thing is clear: the current worker safety laws are in no way chilling the amount of construction in New York, far from it.

As construction across New York increases, the need for strong worker safety laws becomes more apparent and necessary. This is an issue that is not going away and supporters of strong worker safety laws need to remain firm in pointing to why the laws remain critical.

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is committed to fighting on behalf of injured construction workers. You can learn more about these lawyers by reviewing the firm website at www.blockotoole.com.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/new-york-city-giant-construction-site-article-1.2312972