Articles Tagged with construction

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2015 and 2016 were two of the most devastating years in history for the New York City construction industry. 31 men and women died on the job, meaning that on average, one worker did not come home from a construction site about every three weeks.

The last death of 2016 occurred on December 23rd, when a worker, whose safety belt was not attached to any cable, fell down an elevator shaft. Just weeks prior, another worker, also not wearing a connected safety belt, fell to his death in Brooklyn at the Old Domino Sugar Factory. These two fatalities, heartbreaking in themselves, portray a larger problem: 29 of the 31 deaths happened at non-union sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), almost all of the deaths were preventable.
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17 New York City construction workers died last year in work-related incidents. That is, if you ask the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. According to the Department of Buildings, only 12 construction workers lost their lives on the job.

The discrepancy between these two numbers stems from conflicting definitions of a construction-related death, and it is indicative of the absence of clear, consistent data in an industry that has seen both tremendous growth and a surge in preventable deaths over the last 5 years.

The majority of the construction worker fatalities in the last year occurred on non-union sites—the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health identified 15 out of 17 deaths as non-union. However, there is disagreement as to how much of the industry is made up of non-union workers.
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New York City Public Advocate Letitia James introduced several new bills this week that would increase the city’s power to fight back against negligent landlords.

One bill would expand the scope of the city’s public nuisance law to allow city officials to bring landlords to court for maintaining unsanitary or dangerous living conditions.

“This new law would give us the ability to step in and act in such a situation rather than waiting for the landlord who has shown they don’t care,” said James. Continue reading →

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