World Trade Center site accident shows dangers of New York construction

Some have called the site "cursed," while others see it as a shining example of triumph over adversity. No matter how you classify it, though, there is no denying that the future site of the "bigger and better" World Trade Center has been plagued by accidents and mishaps over the years. Another high-profile incident has thrust the site's safety record back into the spotlight and is bringing attention to the dangers inherent in building construction, demolition and renovation.

A history of safety issues

The most recent incident at the WTC building site involved firefighters rushing to the scene to put out a fire in a storage area. No injuries resulted, but there have been several other accidents that have caused harm over the years. It was just in November that the last injury-causing incident occurred, involving a construction laborer who suffered a head injury after being struck by a falling pipe.

The year 2012 also saw accidents resulting in fall injuries, crush injuries and broken bones, and one strange case of a worker being impaled on a jagged piece of metal. There were also two fires on the site and a catastrophic equipment failure that left a load of steel plummeting 40 stories from a crane boom.

Safety concerns abound

Sadly, the accidents that have happened at the WTC site are not all that unusual among construction projects in New York. In fact, there were more than 150 injuries reported on New York City construction sites in 2011, the most recent year for which data was available. That year also saw five fatal accidents and more than 5,000 "stop work" orders issued by the city's Buildings Department for egregious safety violations.

The increase in fatal injuries is particularly disturbing given the fact that the city's jobsite safety regulations have been increased in recent years after a 2008 crane accident that killed several workers. While year-over-year accident rates fell in New York City from 2010 to 2011, the number of injuries increased. It seems as if owners, developers, project managers and general contractors might not be getting the message about the importance of proper safety protocols on any active construction site.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York construction site accident, you need proper treatment and you need to take steps to protect your legal rights. You also need to understand the effect that workers' compensation claims could have on any legal claims. An attorney with experience handling both personal injury and work comp claims can provide you with more information about ensuring that you get the treatment and compensation that you deserve.