Construction Site Safety, a Critical Measure in New York

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney

Construction in New York is on the rise and, unfortunately, construction accidents are on the rise as well.

With safety training being phased in slowly, it is too early to tell if new construction safety laws will have a statistical impact on worker safety, however, we remain optimistic about results, will continue providing a voice to those affected by job-site injuries, as well as continue seeking opportunities to help our community become more knowledgeable about actions to improve safety.

With an 18%  rise in city construction accidents this year, lawmakers have recognized the concerns for worker safety and have mandated additional training for construction workers.

Local Law 196 was recently signed into law, but in the months now since it was passed, the city is doing a poor job of helping workers meet the requirements, undermining the very culture of safety the law was supposed to introduce. With more than a year to prepare, the Department of Buildings may have to push back the training deadline until June 2019, which leaves New York construction workers without potentially lifesaving safety skills for another six months.

Although the increased safety training will, of course, take time and money it seems that the consideration of increased safety at dangerous construction sites should come before administration. In other words, safety before profits. According to the Mayor’s Management Report, which counts both small workplace accidents like a finger laceration, as well as fatalities, two injuries happen on New York City construction sites every day – 744 were recorded in fiscal 2017-2018, a significant increase from the212 reported injuries during the first year of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term. This means during a six-month training delay, data would suggest over 300 additional injuries will be suffered on construction sites throughout New York.

At this time of year when we take time to relax and spend time for our families, we are reminded of the individuals and families that have been affected by construction accidents in the past year. Our firm has successfully litigated many cases involving construction workers in claims involving scaffold accidents, ladder accident and accidents that have occurred in all aspects of the job at construction sites.

We are honored and privileged to live in the greatest city in the world. New York construction workers put their safety and their lives at risk every day, and it's the responsibility of our community to provide safe environments for workers, families, students, and all individuals living in our great state. We honor all construction workers and their families and our construction accident attorneys will continue fighting for safe job sites and proudly support legislation that reduces the number of lives affected by accidents throughout New York.

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, NY. With over thirty years of experience as a personal injury lawyer, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine).

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