Construction deaths spike with building boom

There were 10 fatalities and 324 injuries from July 2014 to July 2015

Collapse at 25 West 38th Street (credit: Ray Hennessey via Twitter @Hennesseyedit)

Workers have died and sustained injuries at an alarmingly high rate as construction has boomed in the city over the last two years.

In all, 10 people were killed in construction-related accidents from July 2014 to July 2015, up from an average of 5.5 over the previous four years. 324 workers were injured over the same period, an increase of 53 percent from the previous years’ average.

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The total number of accidents was 314 over the period, 52 percent above the trend. The number of new construction permits over the same period increased at a much slower rate, about 11 percent, with renovation permits up about 6 percent, the New York Times reported.

A worker died just last month at the site of Fortuna Realty Group’s Aloft New York Midtown at 25 West 38th Street, when a ceiling at the project collapsed. In August, a 30-year-old construction worker was killed when he fell four stories at Friedman Group and Landis Group’s hotel development site at 577 Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Months earlier, in February, a 52-year-old worker was killed when several steel beams fell from the Barclays Center.

About a quarter of the fatalities occurred in Midtown, though construction-related deaths were reported all across the city. They typically involved smaller projects, where contractors would hire nonunion workers with little training. The contractors were often cited for previously failing safety violations and not paying penalties, the Times reported. [NYT]Ariel Stulberg