No one assumes that a workplace accident will affect them personally. In a risky job like construction, fixating on “what ifs” could make it nearly impossible to go to work every day. Instead, you focus on keeping your crew as safe as possible and hope that you continue to come home safely each day.
Summer is construction season in the northeast, and with more projects comes an inevitable rise in construction accidents. This year, however, construction sites in the New York area have already seen a noticeable rise in fatal construction accidents—to date, eight people have been killed as a result of construction-related accidents, the same number of people killed in all of 2014.
What Is Causing Such a Dramatic Rise in Accidents?
Not only does summer signify the beginning of “busy season” for construction workers, but a growing New York economy means more construction projects in surrounding areas like northern New Jersey. New York is seeing what the New York Times calls a “building boom,” seen previously in 2008—another record year for construction accidents.
While a building boom is good news for construction firms in the area, it also means that there are more projects to be covered. This means that crews may be smaller than average, or newer, less experienced workers are filling the gaps. Workers are under increased stress, and the workload won’t slow down any time soon—New York’s Mayor de Blasio has proposed more construction through next year, leaving construction firms scrambling to catch up with staffing and training demands.
Unionized construction workers point to the fact that many of the fatal accidents occurred on nonunion jobsites. Union labor is known for having much higher safety standards, but often at a higher cost, leaving opportunities for cheaper labor to infiltrate the market that may not be held to the same safety requirements, including training.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself This Summer?
Many New Jersey residents make their living in construction in and around New York. As your workload increases, protect yourself by ensuring that OSHA safety standards are met or exceeded and that you and your coworkers have the proper training, equipment, and support to complete a task.
If you have been injured on a jobsite, you have legal protections available to ensure that you receive the proper care and compensation. Contact my Morris Plains construction accident firm today to ensure that your rights as an injured construction worker are protected—schedule your free consultation now by phone or by clicking on the live chat link.