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Rising construction accidents linked to booming business

Statistics from recent years show that deadly construction accidents have been growing more common in New York City. For instance, the numbers jumped 24 percent between 2013 and 2014, hitting 231 total fatalities.

As with most trends, there are multiple reasons for this worrisome increase. However, some have blamed little more than a booming industry.

The New York Building Congress president noted that more jobs created a problem no matter what companies did. In order to get them done, they had to:

  • Put fewer workers on each job, even though that meant each person would actually have a lot more work to do.
  • Hire on new workers. These people may be grateful for the jobs, but they also may have less training and far less experience.

Either option poses a problem. Even if a worker is properly trained, there's no substitute for experience. Putting a lot of green workers on important projects means they could make mistakes that older, more experienced workers would never have made. However, those experienced workers were just tied up on other jobs.

Increasing the workload does keep the experienced, well-trained workers on the job, but it can stretch them too thin. Are they really at their best when they're working long hours, stressed out about more responsibility? Workers who are exhausted and burned out may make mistakes that they never would have on a more normal schedule.

It's important to understand all of these risks as the industry continues to do so well. At the same time, workers who get hurt -- or the families of those who are killed -- must also know their legal options.

Source: NY Times, "Fatal Construction Accidents Are Rising in New York," Matt Chaban, accessed Feb. 02, 2018

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