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Does Self-Regulation Work in Construction?

The New York metropolitan region, which includes Long Island and New Jersey, is a bustling area with lots of business going on. It is no wonder that the construction industry has a lot to keep them busy; there are construction sites everywhere all year long. This is the good news for construction workers because it means they are always in demand. The bad news is they have no assurance that they will be safe on the job.

While the number of fatalities in New York decreased slightly from 40 in 2011 to 38 in 2012, the number of injuries has increased as more worksite accidents occurred. The most common construction accident was fall from height and struck- by incidents. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health stated in its report that among the accidents that occurred in 2013, more than 65% of the construction sites involved had at least one citation for serious safety violations, indicating that a majority of these accidents were preventable.

Despite these pressing needs, the number of worksite inspectors in New York City itself was reduced, significantly cutting down on the number of worksite inspections that was done in 2012 (141,000) compared to 2009 (244,000). The city government admits that they are relying on licensed contractors to self-regulate and to report worksite problems voluntarily. It doesn’t seem to working out so well.

The Department of Building’s spokesperson states that the regulations overseeing the construction industry in the city is some of the toughest in the world, but enforcement is another issue altogether. When contractors are expected to self-regulate, it is inevitable that a lot will fall through the cracks. Safety regulations cost money, and most contractors have their eye on the bottom line and will cut corners where they can.

The impetus to keep the work going overrides safety concerns until disaster strikes. By then it is too late to save the victims from harm; the best that can be done is to seek compensation for those who survive.

If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident in New York, you may find that the law will finally start to work for you. Consult with a good New York construction accident lawyer to get the attention and compensation you deserve.

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