Are New York workers safe on the job? The statistics may surprise you. A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2013 exposes the most dangerous industries and the number of people who die each year while performing work-related duties.
Employees who operate a vehicle are at the highest risk of sustaining a fatal injury, with 40% of all work-related deaths either occurring as a roadway accident or other type of transportation incident. Falls, slips and trips account for 16% of the workplace fatalities, and contacts with objects or equipment cause another 16% of the deaths on the job.
Approximately 17 workers are killed each day during the Monday to Friday workweek. Construction accidents continue to account for a large portion of fatal work accidents. The number of deaths in the construction industry typically outstrips all other types of employment each year.
The statistics show the industries with the highest number of deaths on the job, and the percentage per 100,000 employed in each field:
There are certain occupations that are inherently dangerous. The statistics indicate the danger for workers who operate a vehicle in any capacity. Transportation and material moving occupations continue to put workers at high risk of injury.
The construction industry had the highest numbers of deaths of any industry, and this activity has proven to be the most dangerous of all occupations statistically. New York is one of the most active metropolitan areas for construction projects of all types, and construction employment and activity peak during the summer months.
In a recent year there were over 13,000 workers in about 1,900 firms. This is an expanding industry in New York, and it is reported that there are too few workers to keep pace with the ongoing projects in the city.
In 2013, the metropolitan area that includes New York-Long Island and Northern New Jersey had the highest number of fatal work injuries of any area in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor statistics preliminary data. The New York area had 152 fatal workplace accidents—the highest number of any area. By comparison, the Los Angeles-Santa Ana area had 102 fatal occupational injuries.
Starting in January 2015, all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act are required to comply with OSHA’s more strict reporting requirements for injuries and illnesses on the job.
The revised rule requires employers to notify OSHA about work-related deaths within 8 hours, and cases involving in-patient hospitalization, amputations or eye loss within 24 hours.
Reporting single hospitalizations is one of the most significant changes in OSHA reporting requirements. Currently employers only have to report work-related fatalities and work-related hospitalizations involving three or more workers. The rule change should bring more attention to dangerous workplaces in New York and throughout the nation.
The U.S. Department of Labor requires that employers provide workers a workplace free from hazards that are known to cause death or serious physical harm and to comply with the occupational and safety standards and requirements.
There is much more that could be done to protect workers. When employers put profit above safety, workers can pay a terrible price. Workers injured on the job may face a lifetime of challenges with permanent injuries or disabilities. In the worst cases, families may lose a loved one and have to cope with the disruptions caused by that loss.
Connect with Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. and speak with our New York construction accident attorney if you or a loved one has been seriously injured on the job, or if you lost a family member in a work-related accident or incident. The firm is a recognized and accomplished team of attorneys focused on advocating for injured workers and their families.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York