Dark Mode
Workers looking at a building under construction​
Construction Accident News, Personal Injuries Blog

The Hidden Construction Risks In New York That Workers Should Be Aware Of

According to recent statistics, the private construction sector in New York City has the highest number of fatal injuries.

While the city’s skyline continues to develop with each passing day, it is crucial to be aware of the construction risks faced by the workers in New York.

We will share the most common construction dangers, explain the factors that can contribute to construction accidents and answer frequently asked questions about compensation and safety.

Looking for a construction accident lawyer?

Schedule a consultation

Bradford H. Bernstein

This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.


What Are Construction Dangers?

Construction dangers include various hazards and risks present on construction sites that can cause accidents, injuries, or fatalities.

Construction dangers include physical hazards like falls, struck-by incidents, and electrical hazards.

Types Of Dangers On Construction Sites In New York

The vibrant NYC construction sites, where towering skyscrapers and bustling streets come to life are not just hubs of progress — they can easily turn into arenas of serious risks and dangers, including the following:

Falling Objects

Falling objects include tools, materials, or debris that drop from elevated surfaces such as scaffolding, overhead structures, and cranes.

The most common causes for falling object accidents include:

  • Improperly secured tools and equipment
  • Poorly stacked or stored materials
  • Overloaded lifting equipment
  • Inadequate barricades or missing warning signs in areas with overhead work

Depending on their size and weight, falling objects can cause:

  • Head injuries
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

Falls From Heights

Falls from heights occur when workers or objects drop from elevated surfaces, such as ladders, scaffolds, platforms, or rooftops.

Common causes for falls from heights accidents include:

  • Unprotected edges and openings
  • Defective or improperly installed scaffolding
  • Misuse of ladders or failure to secure them
  • Lack of fall protection systems, including guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems

Falls from elevated surfaces can result in severe injuries, such as:

  • Fractures
  • Head trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fatalities

Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards include the risk of electric shock, burns or electrocution when a construction worker comes in contact with live wires, exposed electrical parts, or faulty equipment.

Common causes of electrical hazard accidents include:

  • Contact with overhead power lines during crane or scaffolding operations
  • Use of damaged or defective electrical cords and equipment
  • Inadequate grounding of electrical systems
  • Failure to de-energize electrical circuits before maintenance or repairs

Electrical hazards can cause:

Caught-In/Between Hazards

Caught-in/between hazards occur when a worker or a part of their body is caught, crushed, or trapped between moving machinery, equipment, or structural components.

Common causes for caught-in/between accidents include:

  • Operation of unguarded machinery with exposed moving parts
  • Insufficient clearance space between equipment or materials
  • Collapse of trenches or excavations that miss proper shoring or support
  • Workers entering confined spaces without adequate precautions or training

Caught-in/between hazards can result in:

Silhouettes of construction workers on top of a building under construction​
Construction dangers in NYC include falls from heights, electrical hazards, and falling objects​

Factors Contributing To Construction Accidents In New York

In addition to the dangers present on construction sites, construction injuries may occur due to additional factors such as inadequate training and insufficient provision of protective gear.

  • Lack of training and supervision: Inadequate training and supervision of workers can result in a lack of awareness about safety protocols, equipment use, and hazard recognition. This can increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries due to workers’ inability to identify and mitigate construction hazards.
  • Insufficient safety equipment and gear: Failure to provide adequate safety equipment and gear, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), fall protection systems, and respiratory protection, can expose workers to risks on the construction site. These risks include falls, electrocutions, struck-by incidents, and exposure to hazardous materials.
  • Rushed schedules & deadlines: Pressure to meet tight project deadlines may force construction companies to prioritize speed over safety. This can result in inadequate planning and rushed work practices, which can be accompanied by increased risk of errors, compromised safety measures, and, ultimately, construction accidents.
  • Poor communication & coordination: Communication breakdowns between contractors, subcontractors, and workers can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and ineffective coordination of work activities. Lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities and failure to convey critical safety information to all stakeholders can result in potential accidents and injuries.
  • Neglect of safety regulations & standards: Non-compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations, as well as industry standards and best practices, compromises the efforts to maintain a safe working environment. This can lead to serious fines and penalties, in addition to more accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.

Can You Claim Compensation For Construction Injuries In New York?

If you have sustained injuries on a construction site in New York, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your damages.

You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for being injured on the job. This compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.

Moreover, New York State has a strict liability Labor or law statute, which means that in certain situations, the owner or contractor of a construction site may be held strictly liable if they don’t follow safety standards. This includes the New York Scaffold Law, which holds owners liable for gravity-related injuries no matter who is at fault for their injury.

Additionally, if your injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, such as a contractor, property owner, or equipment manufacturer, you may pursue a personal injury lawsuit. By doing so, you can seek compensation for additional damages like pain and suffering, disability, and loss of future earning capacity.

Consult a knowledgeable NYC construction accident lawyer who is knowledgeable about construction accident law to understand your legal rights after a construction accident.

Read more about how to choose a construction accident lawyer in our detailed guide.

An injured worker on a construction site​
If you were injured on the job, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim in addition to receiving workers’ comp ​

Were You Injured At A Construction Site? Contact Spar & Bernstein

For over 60 years, our dedicated personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein have been assisting construction accident victims. Now, we’re here to lend our expertise and support to you and your family.

We offer a free initial consultation where we will assess the circumstances of your accident and provide legal advice on the available options for seeking compensation.

Our experienced and compassionate lawyers will conduct thorough investigations into the cause of the construction accident to determine liability.

This includes gathering evidence for a construction accident lawsuit, interviewing witnesses and consulting with experts in construction safety and accident reconstruction.

Our team will then guide you through the complex legal procedures of filing a claim or lawsuit for construction-related injuries. This includes preparing and filing necessary paperwork, meeting deadlines, and representing our clients in court proceedings.

We will engage in negotiations with insurance companies, employers, and other parties involved in the accident to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. During these negotiations, we will seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation costs.

Throughout the process, we will keep you updated on the progress of your case and address any questions or concerns you may have.

We understand that construction accidents bring serious financial hardships. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay any fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

With a portfolio of success stories, our knowledgeable lawyers at Spar & Bernstein have the skills and resources necessary to handle even the most complex cases effectively.

Were you injured in a construction accident?

Contact Spar & Bernstein

FAQs About Construction Accidents In New York

For more insights on construction accidents in NYC, check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is the difference between workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit for construction injuries in NYC?

Workers’ compensation offers injured workers benefits, lost wages, and medical treatment without considering who is at fault. A personal injury lawsuit offers more generous compensation and allows you to recover damages beyond workers’ compensation, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Bodily disfigurement
  • Mental anguish/emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and
  • Loss of sexual function or intimacy with your spouse

What role do construction companies have in ensuring safety on their sites in NYC?

Construction companies in NYC have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees and subcontractors. To do that, they must implement safety protocols, provide necessary safety equipment, and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

How can I protect myself from construction dangers while working in NYC?

To protect yourself from construction dangers while working in NYC:

Wear personal protective equipment

  • Attend safety trainings
  • Follow safety protocols
  • Report unsafe conditions
  • Stay updated about construction safety regulations and best practices

What would happen if I was injured on a construction site as a bystander or passerby?

If you were injured on a construction site as a bystander or passerby, you may still be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries from the responsible parties for your injuries. Read more on construction accidents involving non-employees in our extensive guide.

Looking for a construction accident lawyer?

Schedule a consultation