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Money Doesn’t Buy Safety

The wages for construction workers in NYC are now at an all-time high, and that’s both good news and bad news. While it would seem like only good news when wages go up and people have more money, there is a flip side to the issue that is causing some problems for others in the city. There are concerns about the quality of construction, and about the safety of the workers who are currently in these high-dollar jobs. With that in mind, it is important to explore the issue in more depth, to see where the red flags are.

The Extra Income is Good for Workers

There is no doubt that the workers are happy to make more money. The average annual income for a NYC construction worker is now over $80,000, and that’s a reasonable living. It has made things easier for construction workers all over the city, and helped them have better lives and more disposable income. They can care for their families more easily, and all of that is important. It’s allowing workers to have a quality of life they might not have enjoyed in the past, especially in a city where housing and other necessities are often very expensive. Despite this, there are downsides to the NYC construction workers making this level of income, especially as wages continue to increase.

Safety Inspections Are Being Ignored

Companies aren’t spreading the bounty from the booming construction industry onto safety inspections, proper equipment, and doing things the right way. They are choosing to spend money on fines and violations, instead. They have money to pay those things, because they know they have to be paid if the work on any given project is to continue. But instead of spending the money on fines and violations, it would seem to make more sense to spend that money on proper procedures right from the beginning. 

Why the Discrepancy in What is Being Paid For?

So why are property owners and contractors willing to pay increased wages, but not willing to invest in safety equipment, spending more time to avoid cutting corners, and other important aspects of construction? There is no easy answer to this, but there are clearly concerns that must be addressed. Without proper safety equipment and a reduction in violations and cutting corners, workers can get injured or even killed. The increased wage may not be any benefit to them if they sustain severe injuries, and clearly won’t help if they’re killed. It may be time to spend money on proper procedures, as opposed to higher wages.


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