‘It should have never happened’: Construction workers mourn industry deaths, credit self-organized trainings for safer sites

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Deaths and injuries for construction workers on the job have been on a significant downward trend in New York in recent years, and hard hats say that’s thanks to trainings they’ve organized themselves on site safety, labor rights, and how to securely blow the whistle on violations.

As Brooklyn Paper previously reported, injuries on worksites across the five boroughs have fallen from 759 in 2018 to 505 in 2021, per the Department of Buildings’ 2021 Construction Safety Report. Deaths similarly fell, from 13 in 2018 to 9 in 2021. The downward trend coincides with regulations passed in 2017 as Local Law 196, which requires workers to complete 40 hours of safety training devised by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) before being certified to work on construction sites.

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