January 4, 2022
Will New York Labor Shortage Lead to Unsafe Working Conditions?
By Jonathan Damashek
Covid’s impact on the economy is far-reaching, and we’re all still feeling the ripples. Industries across the nation face a labor shortage, and construction sites in New York City are no exception. Fewer workers mean more dangerous worksites, increased accidents, and serious injuries.
Labor Shortage in the NYC Construction Industry
Skilled laborers in New York City are retiring, and younger workers leave the construction industry in droves. Nearly nine out of 10 construction firms report delays in projects. Most of those – 61% – report that the labor shortage is a primary factor in those delays, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
Construction companies have resorted to offering high bonuses and recruiting directly from trade schools and high schools. Despite this, the labor shortage continues in New York City and nationwide.
Safety Problems With The Labor Shortage
Having fewer workers on a job site can result in unsafe working conditions. Workers are less likely to abide by safety standards, and it’s harder to ensure state and federal regulations are being met. Many worksites are sacrificing Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors and other compliance personnel.
Many construction sites are forced to rush through safety protocols, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. For example, falls due to inappropriately constructed scaffolding is one of the most frequent situations on construction sites, according to OSHA.
Other common issues on construction sites include dangerous ladders, slips and falls, lack of eye and face protection, and failure to guard machinery properly.
Liability for Construction Injuries
On most worksites, the employer is responsible for injuries to workers. Workers’ comp claims are common. However, third-party personal injury lawsuits are sometimes another way to get the compensation you deserve.
Under New York premises liability law, the owner or manager of the work site may be responsible for injuries on the property. However, a product liability claim may be possible if the injury occurred due to defective or dangerous machinery.
Call a New York City Personal Injury Attorney
The worker shortage applies to many industries and can even affect workers driving cars to and from locations. If you were involved in a car accident, construction site accident, or other workplace accident, you should have an attorney explain your rights and options.