Throughout this past year, there have been a shockingly high amount of construction site deaths throughout the city, and city officials are demanding to know why.
These politicians and labor groups are looking to classify these deaths in order to determine if they happen more often at union or non-union job sites.
Lately there has been a lot of competition throughout the city between union workers and nonunion employers over whether union workers are safer and more skilled. However, there has been a lack of statistics concerning these deaths that make either argument hard to confirm.
“Tracking it may actually be helpful in finding out what’s actually going on. I think that it could give us data on who’s safe and who isn’t,” said Committee on Housing and Buildings chair and Councilman Jumaane Williams to NY Daily News.
Construction has boomed throughout the city within the past two years, but the rate of injuries, accidents, deaths, building violations, and stop work orders has dramatically increased. In 2015, there were 433 accidents and 471 injuries on work sites, which doubled from the year before. While the cause of these construction injuries differ, 35% of these accidents are caused by machines each year, as well as 14% of work-related deaths.
Plus, in the first half of 2016, the New York City Department of Buildings issued more than 4,580 stop-work orders, representing a 23% increase from the first six months of 2015.
This increase in construction deaths has caused the New York County Attorney General Cyrus Vance Jr. to establish a construction fraud task force, which targets all types of unsafe practices, training issues, and employee complaints among construction companies operating in New York.
The main driving force behind the task force was the April 22 death of Ecuadorean immigrant Carlos Moncayo, who was killed after an unfortified trench he was working in collapsed.