Workplace fatalities in New York City increased by 55 percent in 2017 although fatalities in the construction industry remained flat, The Wall Street Journal reported. The numbers, released by the U.S. Department of Labor, showed there were 87 workplace deaths in the five city boroughs in 2017, the highest level since 2008. That compared with 56 deaths in 2016, the lowest level since 1992 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this data using similar methods. Nationally, fatal workplace injuries fell less than 1 percent between 2016 and 2017.
Slip, Trips and Falls Drive Fatality Rates
The report states an increase in falls, slips and trips drove the jump in worker deaths in New York City with 31 people dying in 2017 compared with 13 the year before. Experts say an increase in workplace deaths in New York City typically coincides with a spike in construction fatalities.
In 2017, construction deaths remained relatively flat. However, construction remained New York City’s most dangerous occupation with 25 percent of the workers who died being employed as construction workers, carpenters or electricians. Men accounted for 89 percent of worker fatalities in New York City compared with 93 percent nationwide. The city has taken several steps to improve construction site safety.
The city Department of Buildings raised its budget in recent years to step up site inspections and city prosecutors have been more aggressive when it comes to holding construction companies accountable for workplace deaths. During 2017, seven finance industry workers died, which is unusual, experts say. The city also saw an increase in trade, transportation and utility industries in addition to an uptick in worker deaths from opioid overdoses.
Slip-and-fall and Trip-and-fall Accidents
This report states that the spike in workplace accidents may be attributed to a much higher rate of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. The construction industry is, of course, notorious for fall-related accidents that may result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. But, what many of us don’t realize is, falls can happen anywhere and at anytime. The fact that nine finance industry workers died in 2017 shows that fatal workplace accidents don’t just happen in the construction industry.
All employers including construction companies and other parties have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace. And all workers, under federal and state laws, have the right to work in a safe workplace. When workplaces violate safety regulations, they should face consequences. If you notice any safety violations in the workplace, you can report it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You cannot lose your job or be retaliated against by your employer simply because you report a suspected workplace safety violation.
Lax safety in workplaces is one of the main causes of fatal as well as major injury slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents, particularly in construction sites. Our New York City construction accident lawyers hope the city Department of Buildings and other regulatory agencies in the city crack down on safety violations thereby keeping New York City’s workers safe.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Workers who are injured in the workplace may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families that have lost loved ones in a workplace accident may be able to seek death benefits. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore have two sources of compensation.
Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com