This week, the Housing and Buildings Committee for the New York City Council oversaw 21 bills being introduced that deal with construction safety. These bills pit developers against unions and other builders.
It is tragic to say, but cultural norms that devalue the labor of minorities have profound impacts. For example, in New York City, union construction workers for years have been predominantly Caucasian. Latino construction workers, particularly undocumented workers, are less likely to work on union projects but more likely to suffer a serious injury or death. Often, these accidents were completely preventable and the result of willful violations by employers trying to save a few dollars. According to the most recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics, Latinos had the highesr percentage of fatal work accidents in New York City.
New York City seems plagued with terrible, fatal construction accidents in recent years. Both 2015 and 2016 saw an average of more than one fatality each month. The rate of accidents has caused concerns among politicians and union representatives. Now, city officials are considering a package of more than twenty new laws aimed at reducing accidents and improving safety for construction workers in New York.
A New York factory worker had his right hand get mangled in the grinder on his work shift last month. Media reports indicate that the man was maimed on the job at Brooklyn's Flaum Appetizing.
Depending upon your work site and the focus the employer places on safety protocols, working construction in New York City can be both challenging and dangerous.
New York City is a hive of construction activity year round, and some of those jobs are considered to be very high-risk. One particularly dangerous job on construction sites is excavation work.
With the end of the recent recession came an influx of building in New York City. Has the industry kept up-to-date with safety issues? Possibly not.