a worker sits on a bridge to work on it

Constructed-Related Injuries, Fatalities in New York City Increased in 2022, New Report Shows

The report also includes the leading causes of the injuries and fatalities.

There always seems to be construction happening in New York City. 

Last year, in the U.S.’ most populous city, more initial permits for new projects, new building projects and demolitions were issued than the year prior, according to a report from the New York City Department of Buildings. (The report states that “This significant increase of new building project permits can in part be attributed to developers looking to obtain permits prior to the implementation of the 2022 NYC Construction Codes in November 2022, and the expiration deadline of the 421-a tax program in June 2022.”)

But this same report, 2022 New York City Construction Safety Report, also found that incidents, injuries and fatalities related to construction in the city went up in 2022 compared to 2021.

In 2021, 712 construction-related incidents occurred in New York City, along with 505 injuries and nine fatalities, per the report. But in 2022, these numbers increased to 751 incidents, 554 injuries and 11 fatalities.

“Keeping New Yorkers aware of the state of the construction industry in our City is a critical component of our mission to improve public safety,” said Department of Buildings Acting Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik in a news release. “For the second year in a row, worker injuries and fatalities at building construction sites have increased. While these incidents are occurring much less frequently than in years past, we are ringing the alarm that this year’s report highlights a new trend that must be reversed.”

From 2020 to 2022, half or more of constructed-related fatalities in New York City were caused by falls. This event is the leading cause of death in New York City (in the time frame) and across the U.S., according to OSHA. In 2020, in the U.S., falls to a lower level accounted for more than one in three constructed-related fatalities. 

Looking back at New York City, falls were also a leading contributor to constructed-related injuries from 2020 to 2022. Less than 50 injuries every year were caused by material falls or scaffolding/shoring collapses.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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