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NYC Construction Accidents: What Are the Real Statistics?

NYC Construction Accident Statistics

On February 20th, 2020, a Jamaica, Queens construction site collapsed during demolition, killing one worker and seriously injuring another. Sadly, this is only one of the many construction work-related accidents that will occur this year.

NYC construction worker deaths have been on the rise in the five boroughs. With more and more construction sites rising throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan in particular, experts suspect that these accidents will continue to rise.

Yet, with some estimates claiming that construction worker injuries and fatalities are actually decreasing, it can be difficult to know who to trust. That’s why we’re taking you straight to the source with this list of New York construction accident statistics.

Wondering which NYC borough contributes to the most construction worker injuries and fatalities in New York City? Keep reading this guide to learn the answer to that question and so many more. Plus, stick around to learn where you can find a workers’ comp doctor near you for all your work-related injury needs.

New York State Construction Industry Statistics

The construction industry is a vital part of New York City’s thriving economy. Yet, New York state is no different. Here are some stats you need to know about the state’s ever-growing construction sector.

  • The New York state construction industry grew 11% from 2008 to 2018
  • Between 2010 and 2018, construction jobs in New York state increased 30% to nearly 400,000 jobs
  • 80% of new jobs created between 2010 and 2018 were in New York City, Long Island, or Orange-Rockland-Westchester
  • 69 construction workers died in New York state throughout 2017, a 39% increase from 2012
  • New York state has 52% more construction-related deaths than NYC
  • From 2012 to 2017, the NYC construction worker death rate decreased by 23% while the New York state construction worker death rate increased by 39%
  • Worker falls account for nearly half of all construction fatalities in New York state

New York Construction Sector as Compared to National Data

  • New York state ranked as the 4th largest construction industry in the US in 2018, preceded by California, Texas, and Florida
  • While national construction employment rates have remained 5% below their pre-recession peak, the New York construction sector employs 11% more workers than in 2008
  • In 2018, the national number of workplace fatalities was 5,250 and the New York City number of workplace fatalities was 73

New York City Construction Industry Statistics

New York City is the city that never sleeps. Much of this insomnia is thanks to the ’round the clock construction workers who continue to help the five boroughs grow.

  • 50% of the state’s construction employment since 2010
  • Between 2010 and 2018, the NYC construction industry added 45,300 new jobs, making it the second-fastest-growing industry in the city
  • There were 19% more NYC construction jobs in 2018 than in 2008
  • New York City employs more construction workers than any other metropolitan area in the country, followed by Houston, LA, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Chicago
  • Construction spending in NYC hit a record $61.5 billion in 2018
  • Construction companies contributed $84 billion to the NYC economy in 2018, which is 10% of the city’s total economic output

NYC Construction Worker Pay

  • Construction is the fourth-highest paying industry in NYC
  • In 2017, the average construction worker salary in NYC was $80,000
  • 22% of construction workers in NYC make $80,000 per year or more
  • New York City construction workers were paid a total of $11.9 billion in 2017

NYC Construction Sector Demographics

  • 63% of NYC construction companies are minority-owned as compared to only 13% in the rest of New York state and only 24% in the nation
  • Nearly 66% of construction workers in NYC are of Hispanic, African-American, or Asian descent
  • 89% of New York City construction companies employ 20 workers or fewer and are responsible for more than 33% of all construction jobs
  • 60% of construction workers in NYC have no college experience and make 33% more than people of similar backgrounds working in other industries
  • 59% of NYC construction jobs are held by immigrants
  • The percentage of female construction workers in NYC increased by 48% from 2007 to 2017
  • In 2017, women represented 9% of New York City’s construction industry workers

NYC Construction Accident Injury Statistics by Borough

Sadly, the booming construction industry doesn’t come without its risks. Construction is the most dangerous occupation in New York City, contributing to more deaths on the job than any other industry. Still, some boroughs seem to offer more dangerous construction sites than others.

  • In 2017, NYC construction site injuries increased by 17% from the previous year
  • 137 NYC construction workers were injured in the first quarter of 2019
  • Of these workers, 66% worked in Manhatten, 7% worked in the Bronx, 17% worked in Brooklyn, 9% worked in Queens, and only 1 injured worker was on-site in Staten Island

Manhattan Non-Fatal Injury Stats

  • During the first quarter of 2019, 90 workers were injured at a Manhattan construction site, accounting for nearly 66% of all NYC construction worker injuries
  • In 2018, there were 424 total non-fatal injuries in Manhattan

Non-Fatal Injury Stats from the Bronx

  • Non-fatal construction worker injuries have been on the rise in the Bronx
  • In 2015, only 16 injuries occurred in the Bronx
  • That’s compared to 48 construction worker injuries in 2018
  • During the first quarter of 2019, 10 total workers were involved in an accident, accounting for only 7% of NYC construction-related injuries

Brooklyn Injury Statistics

Queens Injury Statistics

  • 13 of the total 137 construction worker injuries happened at a Queens site during the first quarter of 2019
  • Like Brooklyn, construction-related injuries are increasing in Queens, with only 49 in 2015 and 87 in 2018

Non-Fatal Injury Stats from Staten Island

  • Staten Island has the fewest number of construction worker injuries and deaths in New York City
  • Since 2015, Staten Island has reported only 58 total injuries
  • Fewer than 1% of NYC construction injuries during the first quarter of 2019 happened at a site in Staten Island

Fatal Injury Statistics Among NYC Construction Workers by Borough

  • The number of fatal construction accidents increased by 50% from 2016 to 2017
  • Between 2018 and 2019, 8 construction workers in New York City died on the job
  • A year earlier in 2017, 16 total NYC construction workers died on the job, accounting for 23% of the total occupational fatalities throughout the state
  • The total number of construction worker deaths is on the decline, with the rate decreasing by 23% from 2012 to 2017

Manhattan Fatal Injury Stats

  • The majority of construction fatalities occur in Manhattan
  • Manhattan contributed to 5 of the 8 NYC fatalities in 2018
  • In 2019, there were 0 construction worker deaths in Manhattan for 5 consecutive months, setting a record for the first time since 2015

Fatal Injury Stats from the Bronx

  • Between 2015 and 2018, only 2 workers died at a construction site in the Bronx
  • The Bronx reported 6 total occupational deaths to OSHA from 2017 to 2019
  • 50% of these deaths were due to being crushed between equipment while the remaining half happened because of falling material

Brooklyn Fatal Injury Stats

  • Brooklyn contributed 3 of the 8 NYC construction worker deaths from March 2018 to March 2019
  • 25% of NYC construction worker deaths in 2017 occurred in Brooklyn
  • In all, Brooklyn reported 24 work-related fatalities from 2017 to 2019

Fatal Injury Stats from Queens

Staten Island Fatal Injury Stats

  • Staten Island has only reported 1 construction-related death since January 2015
  • From 2017 to 2019, Staten Island reported a total of 4 occupational deaths
  • In the same period, 50% of all Staten Island worker deaths reported to OSHA occurred after falling from a scaffold
  • The remaining 50% of deaths occurred either due to getting trapped in equipment or being struck by equipment

Total Occupational Deaths and Injuries in NYC

  • In 2018, there were 73 total occupational deaths in NYC
  • Of those, 88% happened to male workers
  • Latino individuals accounted for 34% of all occupational injuries in New York City
  • Workers aged 25 to 34 years old made up 55% of all NYC workplace deaths in 2018
  • 90% of all occupational deaths in NYC happened to wage and salaried workers while only 10% were self-employed

What Type of Construction Accidents Occur the Most in NYC?

Not all construction worker accidents are created equal. Some do occur more than others. We explore the most common causes of construction worker death and injury in New York City below. But first, here are a few general stats you need to know:

  • 2018 also saw a record number of construction-related injuries since pre-recession levels
  • The construction and extraction sectors accounted for the highest number of those at 25, with construction alone contributing to 12 of those deaths
  • Four types of construction accidents contribute to 60% of all accidents: worker falls, falling objects, electrocution, and becoming trapped between objects or equipment

Construction Worker Fatalities by Type of Accident

  • In 2018, falling material was responsible for the most NYC deaths at 3 of the 12 deaths or 25%
  • Falling material was followed by deaths due to worker falls (17%)
  • From 2015 to 2018, 46% of worker deaths occurred because of falls, making falling the #1 cause of death in NYC during that period
  • Other common reasons for New York City construction accidents include mechanical equipment deaths, excavation or soil working-related fatalities, and scaffolding, shed, fencing, or shoring installation accidents

Construction Worker Injuries by Type of Accident

  • The most common causes of construction worker injuries in NYC are the same as those that cause death: mechanical equipment injuries, falling material injuries, falling worker injuries, excavation-related injuries, and scaffolding, shed, fencing, or shoring installation injuries
  • The top cause of construction worker injury is a worker spill
  • Falling material is the second leading cause of construction worker injury in New York City, with excavation and soil work-related injuries being the least common type of construction accident

NYC Excavation and Soil Work Accidents

  • Since 2015, there have only been 3 excavation and soil accident fatalities for NYC construction workers
  • Excavation and soil accident-related injuries have been on the decline, with 19 in 2015 and only 5 in 2018
  • In the first quarter of 2019, NYC saw only 1 injury due to excavation and soil work

Falling Material Accidents in NYC

  • Falling material accounted for 6 NYC construction worker deaths from 2015 to 2018
  • Meanwhile, falling material-caused injuries have remained consistently high, with 81 in 2015 and 82 in 2018
  • Falling material caused 24 deaths in the first quarter of 2019

NYC Mechanical or Construction Equipment Failure Accidents 

  • Mechanical or construction equipment failure deaths increased sharply from 2015 (1) to 2016 (4) before declining again in 2017 (0) and 2018 (1)
  • Injuries due to mechanical or construction equipment failure have declined by 12% since 2015
  • In the first quarter of 2019, there were only 3 construction worker injuries from equipment failure in New York City

Installation-Related Accidents in NYC

  • Installation deaths typically occur due to electrocution, which is uncommon in NYC with only 2 deaths between 2015 and 2019
  • Injuries from doing installation work on construction job sites are low too, with only 24 injuries in 2015 and 15 in 2018
  • 2 construction workers were injured during installation work during the first quarter of 2019 in NYC

NYC Worker Fall Accidents

  • Worker falls are the most common cause of death in NYC’s construction sector
  • However, worker falls have been on the decline, with only 2 deaths due to falling in 2018
  • Compare that to 9 in 2017 and 6 in 2016 and 2015
  • Falling is also the most common cause of injury among construction workers in New York City
  • Worker falls accounted for 133 construction injuries in 2015, increasing by almost 18% to 191 injuries in 2018
  • During the first quarter of 2019, 27 workers were injured because of a fall

Other Construction Sector Accidents in New York City

When OSHA doesn’t have a pre-existing category for an accident that occurs, they usually categorize it as “other.” Finger cuts, pulling muscles, and more are included in the “other” cause of construction injury or fatality category.

  • 8 total deaths occurred in this category between 2015 and 2018 in New York City
  • 2018 saw the highest number of construction worker deaths due to an accident categorized as “other,” with 50% of fatalities between 2015 and 2018 occurring that year
  • NYC construction worker injuries categorized as “other” have been on the rise since 2015
  • In 2015, 187 “other” injuries were reported in the construction industry, while 446 were reported in 2018
  • From the latest statistics available, 82 injuries in the “other” category had already been reported during the first three months of 2019

NYC Workers' Comp Doctors Who Understand Your Needs

Are you looking for a workers’ compensation doctor who can help you after your NYC construction injury? Then you need Injured Call Today. All our doctors are Authorized NYS Workers’ Compensation Board physicians (WCB Authorized Medical Providers) specialized in treating injured workers.

Call 1-800-897-8440 or use the form below to book an appointment with an experienced workers’ comp doctor right now and get the attention you need to help you get back on your feet.

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