The Real Deal New York

Fatal construction accidents reach high since 2008

2015 already saw as many deaths so far as during all of 2014

June 02, 2015 12:00PM

The site of the collapsed crane at 261 Madison Avenue

The site of the collapsed crane at 261 Madison Avenue

Construction-related incidents have killed eight people so far this year, which is as much as all of 2014.  The last time the number of fatalities was this high was in 2008, the New York Times reported, at the height of the last building boom.

“The more jobs we have, it either means fewer workers doing more work, or more new workers who may not have as much experience or training,” Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, told the newspaper. 

The total number of accidents rose 24 percent in 2014 to 231. In 2013, construction incidents caused three fatalities.

Last month, nonprofit organization New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health is overwhelmed and ill equipped to protect the city’s construction workers, according to a report the organization released on the topic.

A 25-year-old construction worker died early May after falling 24 stories down an elevator shaft at the site of a new luxury hotel in Midtown.

Earlier this year, a 22-year-old construction worker died after an accident at the former home of French bistro Pastis in the Meatpacking District, four people were injured during a construction accident at SL Green’s 331 Madison Avenue, the site where the company’s massive One Vanderbilt is scheduled to rise. Before that, a 50-year-old construction worker fell to his death at a Brighton Beach development site. At the site of Greenwich Lane, a 37-year-old female passerby was struck and killed by a piece of flying plywood. In February, a construction worker was crushed to death by several steel beams at the Barclays Center.

Over the weekend, a massive air conditioning unit plummeted 30 stories to the ground, leaving 10 people injured. [NYT] — Claire Moses

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