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Jobsite Accidents Up, Worksite Inspections Down In NYC

By: Gogulski & Associates, Inc.
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Jobsite Accidents

An interesting story that appeared in the NY Daily News states that New York City jobsite accidents are up 31 percent from 2011 to 2012 with injuries increasing 46 percent during that time too.

What's decreasing, you might ask? Worksite inspections and notices of violations. The Daily News reports inspections have decreased by 40 percent from 2009-2012 and there's been 6,600 less violations in 2012 compared to 2011.

Is there a relationship here? Sure. The Daily News' article also states there were 12 more construction related fatalities in NYC during 2011 than in 2010, the latest statistics given by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

Despite the Department of Buildings spokesman Tony Sclafani telling the newspaper that the city has "among the toughest construction regulations of any jurisdiction in the world," he justified the increase in accidents to more people who fell on construction sites.

But Jeffrey Shapiro, an attorney for a man who was killed in a construction accident, said both the city and contractors are to blame.

"The whole incentive in these jobs is to keep the job moving along at all costs. Everybody is unhappy if the job slows down," he told the Daily News.

Another problem the Daily News found, fines for violations are merely drops in the bucket for these construction companies, especially comparing it to the injured or deceased victims.

Here's from the article:

"In 2008, inspectors found a crane on a construction site was 'defective,' with a warped boom tip, a main lift cylinder leaking and damaged nylon slings.

"A year later on Dec. 28, 2009, the connection at a crane boom point pulled through while the crane was lifting a load, allowing the crane's mast to crash to the roof deck. A wire struck a worker.

"The feds found the crane had only three of the required four clamps to keep this from occurring, and fined its owner, Cornell & Co., $10,000. The firm settled for $7,000.

"A year later at the same site in November 2010, OSHA found a crane operator swung a pallet of 3,000-pound bags of dirt while a worker was adjusting the sling.

"The worker had three fingers ripped off his hand. OSHA fined contractor Plant Fantasies $14,000 for exposing a worker to what it termed an "amputation hazard." The company settled for $5,292 - about $1,700 per finger.

"At times the response to many of these serious accidents - even those that result in maiming and even death - is anemic."

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Paul Gogulski, PE has used his broad range of experience to resolve hundreds of cases throughout the country and overseas. He has reduced the cost of litigation during the claims process through skills greatly refined during the course of his career. His recent pioneering in refinements to risk management has led to improvements in the use of BIM and system engineering applications within the construction industry. Dedicated to his profession, Mr. Gogulski is presently working with a professor at a major university and a president of an established consulting firm in the development of software to reduce risk by integrating 4D technology within clients project controls.

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