The majority of construction worker deaths in New York last year were the result of safety violations at high altitudes, according to a report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health this week.
And 71% of on-the-job injuries between 2008 and 2013 were height-related, the report said. In addition, two-thirds of worksite safety violations from 2010 to 2012 involved faulty scaffolds, ladders and fall-prevention equipment.
The committee recommended stiffer penalties for safety violations. The average fine for a fatal construction accident in the state in 2012 was $7,600.
Often, jobsite deaths and injuries reveal more than a single safety violation. A case in point: The study said an OSHA inspector found employees working on second- and third-stories of buildings without any fall protection and in danger of being struck by falling objects or burned by ungrounded power tools.
Statewide, nine construction workers have died so far this year due to unsafe worksite conditions, the report noted.