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Increase in Fatal Construction Accidents in New York

Erin King1 year ago

On Sunday, May 30th, ten people were injured when a 12-ton heating and air conditioning unit fell from a crane 30 stories to the ground on Madison Avenue in New York City. 

The incident comes in light of a string of construction accidents this year, marking 2015 as a dangerous year in construction for NYC.

Incident Details and Information

According to New York City’s Buildings Department, eight people have died in construction-related incidents this year alone – the same number of people in all of 2014. 

In 2013, three people died in construction-related deaths, but it has not been since 2008 that the number of construction-related deaths been so high, with 19 lives claimed by the incidents.  Many people believe the root of the problem is simple: the more construction in the city, the more construction-related deaths there are in the city.

Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, stated that the more jobs the trade group, which employs/represents contractors, designers and developers, has, it either means less workers doing more work, or more new, inexperienced workers doing the job with less training.

According to the New York Times, as Mayor de Blasio calls for more construction for his affordable housing and economic goals, the rise in deaths and accidents recently has become worrisome to some.  Though the New York Buildings Department budget has been increased significantly to complete de Blasio’s housing goals, the company’s first concern and duty is safety and safe development of building projects.

Construction Unions Blame Cheaper Labor

Officials are still stumped as to what caused Sunday’s incident involving the air conditioning unit, which ripped hole in the 15th, 9th, and 8th floors of 261 Madison Avenue.  Directly across the avenue stood 260 Madison Avenue, whose windows needed plywood after the incident; the buildings belong to the same landlord, the Sapir Organization.

Officials involved in construction unions and with contractors have alleged that the rise of cheaper, nonunion labor is to blame for the increase in construction-related accidents.   As the second most dangerous job in the country, the need for people who know what they are doing in the construction business is very important


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