The number of construction accidents in New York decreased by 18 percent, with resulting injuries falling 7.8 percent. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that this decline is due to safety measures enacted by the city since 2008, For example, falls related to construction declined to 128 in 2011, down from 157 in 2010.
And this decline is real, states the mayor, and not because construction activity is down. In fact, construction activity was up by nearly eight percent in 2011. Among the safety improvements cited by the mayor are smoking prohibitions and improvements in “cocoons” used at work sites that keep materials from falling on workers.
Rules such as these were strengthened after a series of construction accidents in 2007 and 2008 resulted in at least five deaths because of safety problems. Crane accidents killed three workers in 20080, and two firefighters were killed during demolition of the Deutsche Bank building in lower Manhattan.
In 2011, the city issued more than 5,100 stop work orders after finding violations of safety regulations.
Source: Bloomberg News, “New York City Building-Safety Laws Cut Accidents 18%, Mayor Bloomberg Says“, by Henry Goldman, Jan. 23, 2012.