New York City is in the middle of a construction boom. Buildings are being renovated and built at an incredible rate. Once-empty lots of land are filling up with incredible new structures, and once-dilapidated buildings are transforming before our very eyes into beautiful pieces of architecture. All of this construction seems like a good thing, and for the most part, it is. It means people have jobs, businesses are doing well and the whole city is looking better as a result.
But this construction boom hasn’t occurred without serious consequences, most notably to the people who perform the labor on these projects. Construction deaths have skyrocketed in New York City, and many of these people are undocumented immigrants. The scariest part about these fatal accidents is that they exceed the rate of new construction. That shouldn’t be happening, and officials say it is a clear indicator that stricter regulations and new safety laws need to be put in place.
This also points to the importance of the Scaffolding Law that we wrote about a few weeks ago. It holds contractors and construction site managers responsible for any accidents on their site, in particular when they involve heights or scaffolding. People who suffer injuries from falls often deal with permanent damage. They need financial help as a result.
In addition to all of this, many of the accidents that are occurring now seem to be preventable in some fashion. While the construction boom has its many positive aspects, hopefully the negative ones will lead to another boom — of increased safety and construction regulation.
Source: New York Times, “Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York,” David W. Chen, Nov. 26, 2015