Gas leaks in New York can be dangerous, especially when they occur at a construction site. When construction workers are installing and repairing fixtures for the use of natural gas, the danger of a leak can be elevated. The gas is highly flammable and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning to people and animals in a confined space. In addition, a leak can cause a substantially higher risk of serious fires and explosions. In case of a gas leak, it is essential not to continue construction, but to evacuate the site immediately and seek emergency assistance from the fire department or utility company.
New York construction can be a dangerous job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry is New York City's deadliest, with 20 workers losing their lives on the job in 2017. This marked a slight decrease from the 21 deaths in construction site accidents in 2016. However, overall workplace fatalities rose; 87 workers were killed on the job, an increase of 55 percent from one year earlier. The construction accidents took place at a range of different types of job sites, with seven workers killed at residential building projects. Another three workers lost their lives at commercial construction sites.
Workers in New York who routinely use cranes to execute their job duties may be interested to learn about a final rule published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The rule explains the certification requirements for crane operators and mandates that employers have to ensure that crane operators are able to operate the equipment safely.
Falling debris at a construction site in Brooklyn killed a 44-year-old man the day before Thanksgiving. Two of his sons were working with him at 859 Myrtle Avenue, and one son pulled his father from beneath the metal wall that fell on him. In a press conference, the son said that no one should have been working on the roof that day because of the high winds. He insisted that the accident did not have to happen.
Some of the most dangerous jobs that construction workers in New York and elsewhere face each year involve trenching and excavation. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 130 workers were killed while taking part in trenching and excavation operations between 2011 and 2016.
Brooklyn workers often face exhausting workloads. Unfortunately, tiredness on the job can be a serious risk factor for injuries, accidents and other safety problems. According to one study by the National Safety Council, 69 percent of employees are tired at work, including many people whose jobs involve safety-intensive tasks and procedures. In particular, construction, transportation, manufacturing and utility workers experience frequent high levels of fatigue at work, but often do not recognize that it could lead to safety problems.
A worrying number of construction workers are being killed in workplace accidents in New York, and an advocacy group says that lax safety standards on nonunion constructions sites and less-than-vigorous enforcement of industry safety standards by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are largely to blame. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health made the claims in its most recent annual report.
In 2017, there were nearly 700 injuries related to construction accidents in New York City according to the Department of Buildings. Furthermore, there were 12 worker deaths in 645 accidents reported during that year throughout the city. Local Law 196 was signed into law in October 2017 and went into effect on March 1. It says that there needs to be a site safety plan as well as adequate worker safety training on job sites.
Statistically, 1 in 10 construction workers is injured every year in New York and across the U.S. The private construction industry saw 937 fatalities in 2015, which was a seven-year high in this country. It goes without saying that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous. Thankfully, advances in technology could improve the safety of construction sites if companies choose to invest in new equipment.
Brooklyn construction sites often present hazards for passersby, but for workers, danger is part of the job every day. Construction work in the United States is safer now than it was in the past, but experts say more needs to be done to decrease accidents and fatalities for workers. Safety firms are now turning to technology to prevent accidents on job sites.