In New York City alone, there are close to 45,000 active construction sites, and the fast pace with which the city is growing and developing has created hazards and safety concerns for construction workers. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 87 workers were killed in 2017 in construction accidents. This is over a 30% increase from 2016. Nationwide, there were over 5,100 fatalities in construction zones the same year.
According to CBS, there are more deaths in construction than in any other industry in the city. Workers have been crushed by cranes, killed by fallen debris and placed in jeopardy by companies willing to cut corners to provide lower bids for jobs. Local authorities claim to be putting pressure on contractors to understand and comply with safety regulations. Employers are said to be receiving violations more often, as they must have safety measures in place to protect employees and residents of the city.
Contractors and business owners have the responsibility to make safety the top priority to protect their workers as they work with heavy machinery and precarious substances. Training is vital to keeping employees safe and it should continue regularly. Safety practices should be updated any time there are changes made to the protocol and all employees should be taught about the change.
Employers should also be holding employees accountable for when they break protocol and correct the bad as they reward the good. They should also have regular safety meetings and daily site inspections to ensure safety measures are being utilized by workers. Simply put, it is not worth the health of the life of an employee to finish a job on time or to save money.