Construction-Related Accidents Decreased By 18 Percent In 2011 Even As Construction Permits Increased Across New York City

There was an 18 percent decrease in construction-related accidents in New York City for 2011, despite a 7.7 percent increase in the issuance of construction permits citywide. Construction-related injuries also decreased across the City last year – falling from 165 reported accidents in 2010 to 152 in 2011, a reduction of 7.8 percent. In total, there were five construction-related fatalities in 2011, a slight increase from four fatalities in 2010, but a 73 percent decrease when compared to 2008.

The Department of Buildings has implemented more than 25 new construction safety laws since 2008 to enhance public safety and provide businesses and developers with the confidence to invest in the five boroughs, create good-paying jobs and promote economic growth.

The total number of reported construction-related injuries decreased from 165 in 2010 to 152 in 2011, a decline of 7.8 percent and 37 percent lower than in 2009. Construction-related accidents in New York City fell 18 percent from 157 in 2010 to 128 in 2011, a reduction of 18 percent and a 41 percent decrease when compared to 2009.

While the most common construction accident remains workers falling, the number of workers who were injured in a fall declined from 66 in 2010 to 52 in 2011, a 21 percent decrease. Of the five construction-related fatalities in 2011, all involved construction workers who were killed as a result of improper procedures on the job site, such as a lack of fall protection and improper construction practices.

A few examples of the new initiatives launched by the Department of Buildings in recent years to enhance public safety, provide greater oversight and increase industry awareness include:

  • First revision of the City’s construction codes in 40 years, which took full effect in 2009 and expanded safety requirements during the construction process;
  • More than 25 new construction safety laws, including a smoking ban on all construction sites, mandatory training for all tower crane workers and requiring the uniform color coding and regular pressure testing of standpipe sprinkler systems;
  • Creation of a Stalled Sites Unit that has conducted more than 14,000 inspections of stalled construction sites to ensure properties are maintained in a safe manner;
  • Creation of a site safety program for major construction projects that allows contractors to submit plans for an enhanced review by Department experts; and
  • Launch of Experience Is Not Enough, a citywide safety campaign to encourage construction workers to use proper fall protection, such as safety harnesses, guardrails or nets. More than 12,000 banners, bracelets and posters were distributed to construction sites across the City.

This past year, the Department of Buildings created the NYC Development Hub. The Hub, a state-of-the-art project review center in Lower Manhattan which receives and reviews digital construction plans, allows plan examiners to review building designs easier, faster and without the use of paper for the first time in New York City. Licensed architects and engineers can submit digital construction plans and resolve any issues with City officials in a virtual environment – without ever having to meet in person.

The personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including for workers injured at construction sites. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. To learn more, watch our videos.

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