NEW YORK, NY – As construction sites continue to fill up the streets of New York City, construction accidents are proportionally on the rise, according to an analysis of recent deaths at construction sites.
Some eighteen workers died between October 2014 and September 2015, a definitive increase from the 12 killed the previous year and the seven workers killed two years ago.
The influx in deaths has been answered with a decrease in the number of site-safety inspectors available in the city, dropping from 1,171 in 2011 to 1,105 in 2014, according to the New York Daily News. In addition, construction permits have increased by 121,000 to 142,000, which would explain construction sites on every street corner. The rampant increase in permits means a demand for inspectors won’t slow down anytime soon.
Press Secretary with the Department of Buildings Alexander Schnell acknowledged that site safety managers are only required at buildings of 15 stories or higher and excavations of 100,000 square feet or more. He went on explaining that there’s not a definitive correlation between the number of safety managers and deaths.
Yet a slew of high-profile accidents has made headlines in the past year alone.
A 22-year-old worker was killed in April when a trench that he was digging at the Patsis Building in the Meatpacking District collapsed and buried him alive.
An inspector had warned the project’s subcontractor of some safety issues at the site, but none of the issues were answered. Following the worker’s death, OSHA fined both the subcontractor and the general contractor, Harco Construction LLC, for $142,000 each.
The recent tragedy saw a crane’s cable snap, causing its cargo to smash into a nearby building on Madison Avenue, injuring at least 10 people.
For the fiscal year of 2015, the Department of Buildings in August found that construction accidents were up 34 percent.