Occupational Health & Safety

NYC Construction-Related Accidents Fell 18 Percent Last Year

Construction-related injuries also decreased across the city last year—falling from 165 reported accidents in 2010 to 152 in 2011, a reduction of 7.8 percent.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri recently announced an 18 percent decrease in construction-related accidents in New York City for 2011. Accidents fell from 157 in 2010 to 128 in 2011. Construction-related injuries also decreased across the city last year—falling from 165 reported accidents in 2010 to 152 in 2011, a reduction of 7.8 percent.

There were five construction-related fatalities in 2011, an increase from four fatalities in 2010.

While the most common construction accident remains workers falling, the number of workers who were injured in a fall declined from 66 in 2010 to 52 in 2011, a 21 percent decrease. Of the five construction-related fatalities in 2011, all involved construction workers who were killed as a result of improper procedures on the job site, such as a lack of fall protection and improper construction practices.

To increase industry awareness and provide more oversight, the city’s Department of Buildings has implemented more than 25 new construction safety laws since 2008. These include:

  • First revision of the city’s construction codes in 40 years, which took full effect in 2009 and expanded safety requirements during the construction process;
  • More than 25 new construction safety laws, including a smoking ban on all construction sites, mandatory training for all tower crane workers, and requiring the uniform color coding and regular pressure testing of standpipe sprinkler systems;
  • Creation of a Stalled Sites Unit that has conducted more than 14,000 inspections of stalled construction sites to ensure properties are maintained in a safe manner;
  • Creation of a site safety program for major construction projects that allows contractors to submit plans for an enhanced review by Department experts; and
  • Launch of Experience Is Not Enough, a citywide safety campaign to encourage construction workers to use proper fall protection, such as safety harnesses, guardrails, or nets.

The number of initial construction permits—including new buildings, major and minor alterations, and demolitions—increased by 7.7 percent from 80,675 to 86,895 in 2011.

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