Recent Blog Posts

How New York City Has Expanded Its Efforts to Improve Crane Safety

Construction sites are filled with hazardous equipment, and few pieces of equipment are more hazardous than a crane. In the aftermath of a deadly crane accident in 2008, New York City launched a series of concerted efforts to improve crane safety across the board. After one decade, the city looks back on its achievements while… Read More »

Local Law 196 Is Now in Effect, Mandating Safety Plans and Training

As of March 1, 2018, workers on qualifying construction sites in New York City must have a minimum of 10 hours of safety training before they are allowed to work. That requirement is part of Local Law 196, passed in 2017 and now being enforced (at least in part) at a worksite near you. The… Read More »

Changes to NYC Crane Law Being Enforced on Inspection

In April, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) conducted surprise inspections on construction cranes throughout New York City. Negligent operation of the huge cranes involved in skyscraper construction has been linked to several deaths of construction workers and passersby in recent years, prompting changes in regulations to prevent accidents. But new laws are useless without… Read More »

December Death Brought NYC Construction Fatalities to Nine for 2017

The death of 34-year-old Przemyslaw Krawczyk on December 18 brought the unofficial total of New York City construction workers accidentally killed on the job to nine for 2017. According to the Department of Buildings, 12 workers died each year in 2016 and 2015, compared with eight in 2014. The total for last year represents a… Read More »

Unions and Contractors’ Associations Angered by City Plan to Limit Damage Awards in Construction Fatalities

Construction workers in New York enjoy a level of protection unmatched throughout the country due to the state’s 133-year-old Scaffold Law. The law makes employers 100 percent liable for falls when the employer has violated a safety ordinance, even if the worker’s own negligence contributed to the fall. Naturally, the Scaffold Law has many opponents,… Read More »

Mayor de Blasio Approves New Law Requiring Safety Training for Construction Workers

In October 2017, in response to a surge in worksite accidents and job-related deaths, Mayor Bill de Blasio approved legislation drafted by the City Council to mandate 40 hours of safety training for construction workers. According to the New York Post, a recent Mayor’s Management Report estimated the increase in worker injuries at 18 percent… Read More »

Two Fatal Construction Accidents in a Single Day in New York City

The building boom in New York City continues to extract a deadly toll on construction workers. On just one day, September 21, two laborers lost their lives as the number of fatalities for 2017 swelled to eight. Last year and the year before, there were 12 fatalities at construction sites in the city. The first… Read More »

As NYC Seeks Construction Safety Improvements, Contractors Lean Toward Open Shops

Has overall construction safety declined in New York City, or has the building boom produced more accidents because there are more projects? Ask various stakeholders in the industry and you’ll get conflicting answers as to the cause of, and the proper cure for, the uptick in serious and fatal injuries. But as the debate rages,… Read More »

Six Construction Workers Injured in Long Island City as Concrete Form Bursts

On Monday, June 26, six construction workers were injured when a 20-foot-by-20-foot wooden form failed to hold the concrete they were pouring into it on the eighth floor of a proposed apartment complex in Queens. Five workers were in serious but stable condition after the accident, and one had minor injuries. A witness recalled hearing… Read More »

Michael Barasch Comments on Article “Older people dying on job at higher rate than all workers”

Blue collar workers have always faced a higher risk of having a fatal workplace accident than white collar workers. That older workers in this group are even more at risk comes as no surprise. But we should resist the urge to chalk this up to failing eyesight or diminished strength alone. Common workplace accidents like… Read More »