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Report: Construction NYC's Most Fatal Industry

Thursday, January 17, 2019

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The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week new numbers (from 2017) on work-related fatalities and injuries in New York City, finding that the construction industry still leads with the most on-the-job deaths.

The Report

The Bureau reported that fatal work injuries in general totaled 87 in New York City in 2017, up by 31 from the previous year. Fatal injuries in the city have ranged from 191 in 1993 to 56 in 2013 and 2016.

© iStock.com / flukyfluky

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week new numbers (from 2017) on work-related fatalities and injuries in New York City, finding that the construction industry still leads with the most on-the-job deaths.

Nationwide, however, a total of 5,147 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2017, down from 5,190 the year before, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The report found that the private construction industry accounted for the highest number of workplace fatalities in the city with 20 and that, in general falls, slips and trips accounted for 31 fatal work injuries.

Additionally, fatalities due to falls rose by 18 over the past year.

By percentage, New York City’s fatal falls more than doubled the national number. Throughout the United States, 17 percent of worker deaths were caused by fatal falls, whereas fall events were behind 36 percent of work deaths in New York City.

The Bigger Picture

The glimpse of New York’s numbers follows the larger batch of data released last month, which also showed that the combination of the construction and extraction industry and the transportation and material moving industry accounted for nearly half of all worker deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

Some of the key finds in the U.S. report include:

  • In the Construction and Extraction category, workplace fatalities dropped from 970 in 2016 to 965 in 2017;
  • In Architecture and Engineering, fatalities dropped from 41 to 23;
  • The Transportation and Material Moving occupational group and the Construction and Extraction occupational group accounted for 47 percent of worker deaths in 2017;
  • Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the CFOI accounting for 887 (17 percent) worker deaths; and
  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40 percent) occupational fatalities.

Falls in general also came in at No. 1 on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 2017 Top Violations list, which was released last October.

Ed Brown, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The glimpse of New York’s numbers follows the larger batch of data released last month, which also showed that the combination of the construction and extraction industry and the transportation and material moving industry accounted for nearly half of all worker deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

That list included:

  1. Fall Protection—General Requirements, with 6,072 violations;
  2. Hazard Communications, with 4,176 violations;
  3. Scaffolding at 3,288;
  4. Respiratory Protection at 3,097;
  5. Lockout/Tagout at 2,877;
  6. Ladders at 2,241;
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks at 2,162;
  8. Machine Guarding at 1,933;
  9. Fall Protection—Training Requirements at 1,523; and
  10. Electrical—Wiring Methods comes in last with 1,405 violations.

The DOL announced earlier this month a batch of materials and resources designed to help employers with fall safety.

“Falls can be prevented if employers plan ahead to ensure the job is done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely,” OSHA said in its press release of the materials.

Those resources include:

  • A series of fall safety videos that show how to prevent construction-related fall hazards from floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reroofing and leading edge work;
  • The Fall Prevention Training Guide, which provides a lesson plan for employers including several Toolbox Talks;
  • Fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding provide guidance on the safe use of these types of equipment while performing construction activities; and
  • A brief video, “5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls,” which encourages employers to develop a fall prevention plan, and to provide workers with fall protection and training.

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Fatalities; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Safety

Comment from John Courtien, (1/17/2019, 6:35 PM)

Would be interesting to a see a further break down on these fatalities based on how many occurred on Non-Union sites vs the higher safety standards and training of Union projects.


Comment from John Courtien, (1/17/2019, 6:35 PM)

Would be interesting to a see a further break down on these fatalities based on how many occurred on Non-Union sites vs the higher safety standards and training of Union projects.


Comment from John Courtien, (1/17/2019, 6:35 PM)

Would be interesting to a see a further break down on these fatalities based on how many occurred on Non-Union sites vs the higher safety standards and training of Union projects.


Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (1/18/2019, 12:49 PM)

Would be interesting to see a comparison of incident rates under NYC Republican and Democrat Mayors and NY Governors.


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