Injuries and deaths at construction sites rose sharply in Fiscal Year 2015, to the highest levels in years.
Construction injuries rose 34 percent to a total of 283 in the period June 30, 2014 and the same date in 2015, compared to 211 the previous year, according the Mayor’s Management Report.
Work site fatalities rose as well over the period, from six to 11. In both cases, the levels are the highest seen since at least F.Y. 2010, Politico reported.
The rise in accidents on-site has accompanied a boom in construction throughout the city, a grim cloud over an otherwise welcome development.
“I think there was an expectation that there might be an increase with the increase of construction. I don’t know that we necessarily accept that philosophy, and we shouldn’t,” City Council member Jumaane Williams told Politico. “I think people are trying to cut corners.”
The report comes in the same week that a worker at Friedman, Landis’ 400 Times Square fell to his death. Then yesterday, the family of another fatally injured worker, who fell down an elevator shaft at Riu Hotels & Resorts ‘301 West 46th Street site, filed a lawsuit against the hotel chain and contractor Rinaldi Group.
Harco Construction had its license pulled by the city earlier this month after a worker died at one of its sites.
The Department of Buildings is in the process of reviewing its disciplinary policies and hiring as many as 100 new enforcement officers.
“There is no excuse for site managers to not ensure they are operating in code compliance and protecting the public at all times as they are required to do by law,” Alex Schnell, a spokesperson for the department, wrote in a statement. [Politico] – Ariel Stulberg