Construction work is some of the best-paying employment available for blue-collar professionals in New York. However, it pays so well in part because of how dangerous it can be to perform. Workers could end up injured by a defective tool or falling materials. They could fall themselves or get hurt due to exposure to electrical supply.
Thankfully, there are both New York state rules and federal job safety standards to help minimize the risk to construction workers on the job. Employers should proactively comply with all safety standards and best practices. Sadly, not every company will follow the rules. Cutting corners can save a company time and money.
Individual workers are often unable to enforce those regulations and need a union to speak up on their behalf when a company prioritizes profits over the safety of its staff.
Taking a non-union job could significantly increase your risk
In theory, the same general safety practice is should apply to every work site, but employers that want to cut corners with what they pay for work might also cut corners with the training of their construction employees or the safety equipment that they provide. Non-union work sites are some of the most dangerous possible places to do construction work.
According to construction fatality data from 2018, when 36 workers died, non-union job sites are far more dangerous. Across New York state, 86% of the worker fatalities on private projects were not union employees. In New York City, 83% of the 23 invested worker deaths involved construction professionals who were non-union.
Your rights after a construction accident leads to an injury
If you are an employee and not an independent contractor, then you can potentially file a workers’ compensation claim when you get hurt regardless of whether it is a union job site or not. If you are a contractor and therefore do not have workers’ compensation provided by your employer, you may need to look into a claim against the company.
When businesses openly violate safety standards on non-union job sites, they open themselves up to civil liability. You could potentially make a claim for lost wages, medical expenses and other financial consequences of your injury.
Identifying risk factors for construction-related work injuries could help you stay a bit safer on the job.