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Annual Report Shows 55 Construction Accident Deaths in New York State

On Long Island and throughout the New York metropolitan area, large construction projects are so familiar that most people barely notice them unless they are blocking their sidewalk or causing them to wait in traffic. However, there is a stark hidden cost that goes along with these building and repair jobs. Thousands of construction workers suffer serious injuries each year, and tragically, some of those are fatal. Over the past 10 years, the state has averaged more 40 construction site deaths each year, with 55 occurring in 2019.

Published by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), Deadly Skyline collects information from several sources to catalog how dangerous construction sites are and what causes these injuries. Though many people automatically associate serious construction accidents with Manhattan high-rise buildings, the fatality rate on sites statewide is nearly identical with the New York City number.

The “fatal four” types of construction accidents according to OSHA

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a list of the most common causes of construction site fatalities. This “Fatal Four” includes:

  • Falls — In New York State, the highest percentage of construction site fatalities result from falls. These deadly accidents could be caused by improper scaffolding, faulty personal safety equipment or a contractor’s failure to obey the rules associated with work on high structures.
  • Strikes from objects — Another potential danger when a crew is working well above the ground is that an unsecured tool, building material or other object will drop and strike an unsuspecting worker.
  • Electrocutions — When electric lines are worn or not properly grounded, a serious risk of electrocution exists.
  • Incidents where workers are “caught in between” large items — A careless heavy equipment operator or a structural collapse can lead to someone becoming trapped between large objects and unable to escape before serious harm occurs.

Many construction accidents aren’t random mishaps, but the result of someone else’s carelessness. There are many moving parts on a construction site, and if a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer or another contractor, contributed to your injury, you might be entitled to payment beyond what is covered by workers’ compensation.

The experienced construction site accident attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP represent victims of injuries throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. If you’re not sure if you’re entitled to make a third-party personal injury claim, we can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and advise you on how to proceed.