According to the Commercial Observer, New York City saw more new construction permits, major alteration permits, and demolition permits issued in 2014 than 2015. The city issued over 350 new building construction permits, which indicates that new development in New York City is on the rise.
However, along with the rise in construction revenue comes safety concerns over what is going on at these new construction sites. There has been a rise in construction accidents over the past year that can be traced directly to the increase in construction activity. To preserve its prosperity, the city is implementing new and improved safety measures that are designed to help put a stop to the safety concerns.
Construction Accident Numbers
New York City saw an increase of 92 more construction accidents from 2014 to 2015, and those accidents created 110 more injuries to workers. According to the New York Daily News, 18 construction workers died from 2014 to 2015. It was proven that half of those fatalities occurred on job sites that did not follow city safety laws, which caused workers to fall to their deaths. It is difficult for the construction industry to enjoy its financial growth, when the price it is paying is so steep.
These Accidents Are Preventable
Officials from New York City have been quoted as saying that almost all of the accidents that occur in New York City construction sites could have been prevented if the companies had just followed the standard safety laws. Most city officials agree that improved safety measures are not needed as much as there is a desperate need for monitoring existing projects.
Companies that get cited multiple times for running unsafe job sites are still getting building permits, and are allowed to start up new unsafe work areas in other parts of the city. At a time when boroughs such as the Bronx are seeing unprecedented growth in the residential housing market, the rise in safety concerns is threatening to put a cloud over the city’s tremendous success.
Are There Steps Being Taken To Prevent Them?
Towards the end of 2015, the city of New York had started to take measures that would start to decrease the number of construction accidents within the city. The city started to suspend or even revoke the operating licenses of construction companies that had continually racked up violations and had been cited for unsafe working conditions. The city intends to continue the purge as it hopes that sending this type of message to construction companies will get them to start following the safety laws.
But there is a delicate balance to this problem that the city has to keep in mind. While no one wants to see repeat safety offenders starting up job sites within the city, the construction industry provides tens of thousands of good paying jobs to people in each of the boroughs. If the city continues to deny building permits to repeat offenders, there could be an issue with finding companies that can get the jobs done safely and on time.
The city of New York has seen an 18 percent increase in the number of building permits issued from 2014 to 2015. Everyone in the city wants to see construction increase and new development continue, but it cannot be at the cost of losing workers to safety violations. The city will continue to work with labor unions and construction companies to find ways to reduce accidents, and give New York City workers the safe work environments they deserve.