NYCOSH releases annual report on New York construction fatalities

Construction -- Aug 2013
Photo: Dodge Data & Analytics

New York – The construction industry comprises less than 4 percent of employment in New York state, but it accounts for 20 percent of the state’s occupational fatalities, according to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.

The majority of fatalities involve non-union construction sites and immigrant or Latino workers, NYCOSH said in its 2015 report on construction fatalities in the state.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Falls from height comprise about half of the state’s deaths in construction.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 contractors working on affordable housing projects have received OSHA violations.
  • OSHA’s average fine to contractors involved in fatal construction falls in 2012 was $7,620.

Advocates are calling for more resources, increased fines and more prosecutions, as well as a system in which public contracts are not awarded to contractors with a history of safety violations.

“The findings are clear – New York City has an epidemic of construction site deaths and it has to stop,” Charlene Obernauer, executive director of NYCOSH, said in a press release.