The recent crane collapse in Tribeca is just one example of a construction accident that resulted in fatalities. In fact, construction work is among the most dangerous professions in the city. While only four percent of all jobs are in construction in New York, construction accidents result in 20 percent of the work-related deaths according to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
Falls are the most common cause of death in construction accidents. In 2011 and 2012, 49 percent of construction fatalities were the result of falls from heights. This includes falls from scaffolding and roofs. Furthermore, 71 percent of all construction injuries in New York — fatal and non-fatal — from 2008 to 2013 were height related.
Construction sites and equipment do not only put workers at risk. As the recent crane accident demonstrated, non-workers can also suffer serious injuries and fatalities.
What is the cause of these accidents?
According to a study conducted by the New York Times, many of the fatalities that occurred in 2014 and 2015 could have been prevented. In most of the cases where there was a fatality, there was a lack of proper safety equipment and supervision.
While there are a number of codes and regulations governing construction work, many worksites fail to follow the necessary standards and precautions. Failure to follow safety protocols and regulations results in serious injuries to construction workers and passersby alike.