The number of construction-related accidents and injuries each climbed roughly 40 percent this year, according to data prepared by the New York City Department of Buildings for Commercial Observer.
There were 323 accidents (which can include multiple injuries and/or fatalities) this year compared with 231 accidents in calendar year 2014, the data indicate, a 39.8 percent spike. The number of injuries rose to 356 from 246, a 44.7 percent difference.
All boroughs saw increases in accidents and injuries, but for the Bronx which had one less accident in 2015, at 10. Of the five boroughs, Manhattan had the greatest number of accidents and injuries in both years. This year, the borough’s accidents increased 30 percent to 221 and injuries climbed 34 percent to 236.
DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler said in a prepared statement that many of this year’s construction-related accidents “were avoidable” and that “in response, the department has developed an ambitious plan to improve safety at construction sites.”
He further noted: “This year, we began an unprecedented effort to revoke or suspend the licenses of firms that repeatedly violated the city’s construction code, shutting down hundreds of job sites run by contractors who weren’t prioritizing safety.”
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of fatalities increased by one to nine, the DOB data show.
After a string of construction worker fatalities, 44 construction companies in May called for greater safety efforts at construction sites in the U.S. during the second annual Safety Week, as CO previously reported.
Meanwhile, with the New York City real estate market still going strong, the DOB issued more permits for new building construction (2,404 versus 2,035), major alterations (3,170 compared with 3,080) and building demolition jobs (1,882 versus 1,660) compared with last year.
“In 2015, New York City saw another year of strong growth in construction, including an 18 percent increase in permits issued for new buildings over last year,” Mr. Chandler said. “Increased development grows our economy, creates additional affordable housing, schools and business space, and provides tens of thousands of jobs throughout the five boroughs.”