July 17, 2021

The Leading Causes of Fatal NYC Construction Accidents

By Jonathan Damashek

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Those who work construction or have family members who do know how dangerous this line of work can be. But construction workers in NYC have greater cause for alarm. According to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health’s annual report, in 2019, construction deaths accounted for 26% of all worker deaths in New York City, compared to 19% nationwide.

While some risks come with working in construction, such as exposure to toxic substances and working with complicated, heavy machinery, sadly, it’s not uncommon for severe or even fatal construction injuries to stem from carelessness and neglect. If that’s the case, you should work with an attorney to show that negligence contributed to your loved ones’ fatal construction accident.

Here are the common causes of fatal construction accidents in NYC and the parties who could be liable.

Falls from Elevated Heights

Over the past 10 years in New York, 48% of construction fatalities were due to falls.

Among the most common causes of fatal construction accidents are falls from elevated heights. Construction workers typically need to work at extremely high heights, especially in NYC. They may be working on ladders, scaffolds, or other equipment to reach these heights. When a construction worker dies after a significant fall, many parties could share the blame.

You and your attorney will need to investigate the equipment used, the construction company’s policies and procedures, and other factors in determining liability. Contractors, subcontractors, supervisors, construction companies, government agencies, and equipment manufacturers are just a few of the parties who could share responsibility for a fall caused by negligence.

Equipment Malfunctions

Another frequent cause of fatal construction site accidents is equipment malfunctions.

Construction workers rely on their equipment to perform their roles correctly when used appropriately. When this equipment is defective or malfunctions because it wasn’t properly maintained or individuals were not sufficiently trained, they can cause fatal injuries.

The designers, manufacturers, distributors, and other third parties could all share fault when this happens.

Falling Objects

People are often surprised to learn about the amount of debris, materials, and equipment used above them on New York City’s numerous construction projects. Objects falling from these heights can cause fatal head, neck, and back injuries, and unfortunately, are a danger to unsuspecting pedestrians and other workers below.

In many New York City construction site accident claims, the contractor, construction company, careless construction workers, and equipment manufacturers have all been found liable for fatal injuries involving falling objects.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a National Fire Protection Association report, construction workers account for a disproportionate amount of electrical injuries. Tragically, many are fatal, with 61% of US workplace electrocutions occurring in the construction industry.

Individuals in construction-related occupations are understandably in close proximity to electricity more than the average employee, but that’s why safety protocols are so important. If they are not followed, the construction company, electric supplier, other construction workers, and third parties could share fault.

Contact an NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

Losing a loved one in a construction accident is tragic, and it’s hard to know what happened and why without help. If you have unanswered questions or believe negligence resulted in a fatal construction accident in the NYC area, reach out to Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.

We have considerable experience and a record of success in similar construction claims. We will review your legal options and explain what you may be entitled to recover.

Schedule a no-cost, risk-free case review when you fill out our convenient contact form or call our office at (212) 490-5700.