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Most NY construction fatalities caused by safety violations: Study

“Deadly Skyline” found that worksite incidents rose while inspections fell between 2011 and 2015.

As the state’s construction boom continues, worksite accidents and fatalities have risen right along with New York City’s ever-changing skyline.

Between 2011 and 2015, construction worker fatalities in New York state rose from 33 to 55, according to “Deadly Skyline,” a study released Wednesday by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health.

Of those deaths, 25 were in New York City.

Over that same time period, safety inspections made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration dropped from 2,722 to 1,966.

"Deadly Skyline"also found that 90 percent of fatalities are caused by worksite safety violations.

“Wage and hour violators are more likely to be safety violators, and, as has been the case in previous reports, non-union construction sites are more dangerous,” according to the study, adding that non-union sites have more fatalities and twice the violations as union-run sites.

To counter the growing number of worksite incidents, the New York committee that released the study issued a 12-point recommendation plan. It includes adding required education, training and apprentice programs; passing acts that cover insurance transparency; requiring elevator safety; holding contractors accountable and having the city Department of Buildings do a thorough analysis of all construction site deaths.

Other significant findings from “Deadly Skyline” include:

464 construction workers died on the job in New York state between 2006 and 2015;

59 construction worker deaths in the city were the result of a fall;

68 percent of OSHA inspections found safety violations at construction sites;

More than 90 percent of inspections at sites where there was a fatality found health and safety violations in 2015, a 17 percent increase from the previous year;

74 percent of fatality sites were non-union in 2015;

57 percent of workers who fell to their deaths were Latino.

 

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