A new report identifies an “astounding” increase in construction worker fatalities in New York State and New York City, as well as safety violations at 90 percent of construction fatality sites.
"Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State,” released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), alleges that that employers routinely violate legal regulations with impunity.
The report is available for download at nycosh.org and via bit.ly/deadlyskyline17.
80% of fatalities are at non-union sites
“We need to take action now to end the crisis of rising construction fatalities in New York State. These deaths are almost always preventable and occur on non-union job sites 80% of the time. Latino workers compose the majority of fall fatalities—57% in 2015; and there is a strong correlation between employers who steal workers’ wages and who force workers to work under unsafe conditions,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of NYCOSH.
Key findings from the report:
- Workplace fatality rates are trending upward in New York’s construction industry.
- Non-union construction sites are especially dangerous for workers.
- Employers who violate health and safety laws also cause worker fatalities.
- Latino construction workers face die at a disproportionate rate due to falls and employers’ “willful” violations of health and safety laws.
- Wage and hour violators are more likely to be safety and health violators.
Gary LaBarbera, president of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said the report “further exposes the crisis and epidemic afflicting construction sites across New York City.”
“Far too many workers, particularly immigrant workers, die as a result of contractors willful negligence of not providing a safe workplace,” said said Omar Henriquez, Regional Organizer of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
The report was released on the same day that a package of construction safety legislation was introduced by the New York City Council.