On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Construction Accidents on Thursday, October 29, 2015.
There is a historic building boom taking place in New York City. As the activity increases rapidly, the number of construction accidents has increased precipitously. Available site-safety inspectors are at a premium, and the number of worker deaths at construction sites has gone up. During the federal fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015, 18 workers died at construction job sites, which is a substantial increase over the prior two years.
While workplace injuries are generally covered by workers' compensation, there are several instances where workers or their families may collect additional economic compensation over and above workers' compensation entitlements. Whether a tort claim is available can be a complex legal question best discussed with an attorney experienced in construction accident law. It is important to an injured worker or to the family of a deceased worker that they be able to collect the full amount of available benefits and tort damages.
The deaths occurring in the foregoing 12-month period largely happened at construction sites found lacking in safety measures. OSHA is the federal agency that oversees the safety of worksite conditions in the country. The spike in injuries and deaths here has triggered an intensified inspection procedure by New York City officials and OSHA inspectors. Specific locations have been cited as lacking in safety measures required by federal and state regulations.
Contractors must place trained site-safety inspectors at all construction sites in New York City. Unfortunately, there is now a critical shortage of qualified inspectors. According to several contractors, there are not enough new inspectors to replace those who retire each year, which is partly responsible for the sharp spike in construction accidents. There is a complex mix of legal issues that relate to the question of third-party and employer liability regarding construction accidents. Workers are likely to find it beneficial to consult with legal counsel experienced in construction law in order to learn fully and accurately what options may be available for those who have been victimized by the lack of minimum safety measures at city work sites.
Source: New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: As NYC's building boom takes off, number of site-safety inspectors drop -- and construction fatalities spike", Greg B. Smith, Oct. 18. 2015
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