Considering that falls and falling objects are some of the biggest contributors to construction accidents, you might think that shorter buildings are overall safer for construction workers. You’d be mistaken, in that case.
Currently, in New York City, workers are most at risk at non-union job sites, which typically include buildings under 10 stories tall and with an overall footprint of less than 100,000 square feet. It’s easy to imagine shorter buildings as being safer work environments, but the lack of city and state safety regulations for these smaller buildings actually creates greater overall risk to workers.
Unfortunately, too many companies are willing to cut corners and take shortcuts when it comes to worker safety. In the two most recent years with data available (2014 and 2015), government safety inspectors found violations at 87 percent and more than 90 percent of building sites where fatalities had occurred.
In other words, there is a strong correlation between employer negligence or willful endangerment and worker injuries and deaths. If you or someone you love suffered injuries or died at a construction work site, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney!
Falls from shorter buildings are still deadly
There are safety regulations in place to protect workers on buildings over 10 stories tall. However, a fall from a second story roof can be fatal or lead to severe injuries, such as spinal damage and paralysis. By allowing construction employers to side-step safety regulations for shorter buildings that still pose a safety threat, New York has created a situation where workers are at unnecessary risk.
The city is taking steps to correct these gaps in regulations, but that won’t put an end to the common practice of ignoring worker safety and work site safety in favor of slightly more short-term profits.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries at a construction site that didn’t have adequate safety equipment, it is critical that you speak with an attorney. If equipment was available but in poor condition, that should also be addressed.
Although staying safe is preferable to addressing issues after an accident, at least an attorney can help protect future workers from a similar accident.
An attorney is your advocate after an accident
When you experience a serious accident at a construction site, your employer probably won’t be looking out for your best interests. Working with an attorney can help ensure that you recover your medical bills and lost wages. Don’t rely on the goodwill of your employer when your accident could have been prevented.