Recent Blog Posts

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 »

NYC Council Declines to Pass Construction Safety Training Bill

When the NYC Council passed six of 21 proposed construction safety bills, the most controversial measure was shelved: a provision that would require construction workers to undergo an apprenticeship program or otherwise receive safety training. This had been a hotly contested issue with unions advocating apprenticeships and construction companies for the most part opposing them…. Read More »

NYC Council Construction Safety Bill Requires Tracking of Injuries and Deaths

In late April, the New York City Council passed six new construction safety regulations, one of which requires detailed tracking of injuries and deaths, including how long the worker had been on the job and whether the incident occurred at a union or nonunion construction site. Penalties for noncompliance include a $25,000 fine when a… Read More »

New York City Council Packaging Bills to Address Construction Accidents

In response to several years of increasing construction accidents citywide, including 24 accidental deaths over the last two years, the New York City Council is preparing to introduce a package of bills directed toward construction site safety. According to the real estate website The Real Deal, the proposed laws would: Require additional safety training Mandate… Read More »

NYC Department of Buildings Presides Over Fourth Straight Year of Increased Construction Accidents

The New York City Department of Buildings, charged with preventing construction-related injuries and fatalities, is staring at a fourth straight year of increased construction accidents, at a rate which has outpaced the growth of jobs in the industry. According to an article from The Real Deal, the trend was most pronounced in the 12-month period… Read More »