When we clock in at the beginning of a work shift, it’d be nice to think our safety is guaranteed. Unfortunately, in many jobs that isn’t the case. Right now the deadliest job in America is logging. For every 100,000 workers, just over 135 are killed. Further down are fishers, flight engineers, and roofers. Keep going down the list, and you’ll find a number of jobs related to the construction industry. A recent death in Manhattan reminded us of just how unsafe these careers can be.
33-year-old Ju Cong Wu plunged almost 100 feet into an elevator shaft at a worksite in Gramercy Park. He worked for U-Tek Elevator, and was helping to install an elevator in what will eventually become a hotel. He wasn’t wearing a safety harness when he fell. As per state requirements, the Department of Buildings Inspectors halted work at the site immediately. An investigation is ongoing.
Perhaps the accident at the site at Gramercy Park could have been avoided if the employer had acted differently, or perhaps the fault lay with the worker. We’ll only find out for sure after the investigation is completed. The same site had 19 complaints against it over the last 12 months, and at least one complaint suggested that workers weren’t wearing proper safety equipment when required. If you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you think your employer’s negligence caused an injury or wrongful death, then you owe it to yourself and your colleagues to seek financial compensation. Find a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Wu’s death has resulted in calls for new legislation into worker safety at construction sites, where an epidemic of deaths has been noted over the past year. There were a dozen in 2017 alone. Whether or not the Construction Safety Task Force will find a way to reduce the number of deaths at constructions sites in NYC is still unknown.
At the end of the day, it isn’t just up to the employer to keep workers safe. It’s up to all of us. If we don’t demand the safest working conditions possible–and hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we should hold our bosses–then we won’t get anywhere. Although bigger companies sometimes get most of the criticism, they often spend the money to properly train their workers for potentially unsafe conditions. On top of that, they can afford to fire workers who don’t adhere to their standards. Remember, there are always choices we can make to keep ourselves as safe as possible while on the job!