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Are construction accidents on the rise in New York City?

Readers may recall that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a construction safety plan eight months after a February 2016 crane collapse killed one pedestrian and injured three others. The plan highlighted several areas for safety improvements, including new crane restrictions during windy conditions and increased measures to protect the safety of pedestrians near crane sites.

Unfortunately, construction accidents may be a growing concern. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of construction-related fatalities in Manhattan almost doubled. In 2014, 18 separate construction accidents injured 22 New York City pedestrians.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has promulgated safety and health regulations for the construction industry. Accordingly, OSHA officials may investigate for regulatory violations after a construction accident, such as a scaffold collapse or a crane incident. The Department of Buildings may also investigate a construction site accident because it is the New York City agency charged with promoting safe and compliant construction. The outcome of an investigation may impact whether a legal action can be brought against a general contractor or developer.

As a law firm that has helped many construction accident victims, we recognize certain patterns that may warrant further investigation. One patterns is management style. For example, whether an out-of-state contractor can effectively manage a project remotely may vary in each situation, especially when it comes to enforcing safety prevention and best practices. Ensuring that construction sites offer a safe workplace often requires a physical presence, either by the manager or one of its delegates.

If you were injured in a construction accident, it is important to consult with an attorney. Our law firm can apprise you of your legal options, which may differ depending on whether you were an employee or a pedestrian bystander. Our law firm focuses on many civil practice areas, including workers' compensation and personal injury lawsuits.

Source: Department of Buildings, "Construction Safety," copyright 2016, City of New York

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