The New York City Department of Buildings recently released its Construction Safety Report for 2019-2020. The document notes that although construction incidents that involved injuries and fatalities decreased by 24% in 2019—”the first drop in nearly a decade”—there were nonetheless twelve deaths in construction-related incidents that year. “Even one death caused by unsafe work practices on a construction site is unacceptable,” the report states, “and the Department is committed to further driving down this number.” The Department carefully reviews every construction-related incident in New York City in order to hold responsible parties accountable and prevent future fatalities and injuries. Below are brief descriptions of the 12 tragic incidents in 2019, as described by the Department of Buildings.
New York City building inspectors are implementing “zero-tolerance sweeps” in the city’s job sites, according to a recent report by Construction Dive. The sweeps are in response to “three worker deaths in recent weeks, two of which were the result of falls,” according to the report, and have resulted in 322 sites shut down due to hazardous conditions. Continue reading
The Boy Scouts of America’s proposed settlement agreement has received mix reactions from survivors of child sex abuse in the organization, according to a new report by the Associated Press. Under the proposal, the Boy Scouts would contribute $850 million into a compensation fund for former scouts, with possible additional funds contributed by local scout councils. Continue reading
New data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that Black and Indigenous road users are disproportionately affected by traffic violence. According to a recent analysis by StreetsBlog, GHSA research found that from 2015 to 2019, “per-capita traffic death rates for American Indian and Alaskan natives were more than two and a half times those of the population overall — and nearly three times those of White people across all modes.” The research also found that Black road users (a term that encompasses motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians) experience “the second highest rate” of per-capita traffic deaths, or roughly 18% more than the rest of the population. Continue reading
Last week the Boy Scouts of America announced in a proposal filed with its bankruptcy court in Delaware that it hopes to reach a settlement agreement in the near future with attorneys representing child sex abuse victims who have filed claims against the group. According to the New York Post, the Boy Scouts proposed placing assets worth $250 million in a trust for child sex abuse survivors. Boy Scouts local councils would contribute another $500 million or more, with both the national organization and the local councils placing their insurance rights in the trust as well.
Recent news reports describe two hit-and-runs in New York City in the last few months, one of which killed a cyclist in the Bronx. According to StreetsBlog, the cyclist was on Southern Boulevard in Bronx Park when he was hit by the driver of a Mercedez Benz apparently attempting to overtake him “at an apparent high rate of speed” near the Bronx River Parkway on-ramp around 11:20pm last Friday. StreetsBlog reports that the driver struck the cyclist from behind, “sending him flying backwards, first into the windshield of the Benz, and then onto the pavement.” Continue reading
The New York Sate Assembly failed to pass street safety legislation before ending its legislative session last week. As StreetsBlog reports, even though the State Senate passed a bill empowering New York City to determine its own speed limits, the Assembly declined to hold a vote on the bill. State lawmakers could still call a special session to vote on the legislation.
The bill that passed the State Senate, “Sammy’s Law,” did so by a 54-59 vote. The legislation is named for Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old “killed by a reckless driver in Brooklyn in 2013,” according to StreetsBlog. Senator Brad Hoylman sponsored the bill, which would reassign power to set New York City’s speed limits from the state government to the city government. If the bill is passed, New York City would join municipalities like Portland and Cambridge in gaining control over their own speed limits. In a statement about the bill, he said: “Sammy’s Law is a monumental piece of legislation that will make our streets safer for decades to come. As New York City is in the midst of a crisis of vehicular violence, it makes absolutely no sense that Albany has control over the City’s speed limits.”
A trove of data about SUV ownership in New York City, obtained by street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, reveals that New York City residents “are buying SUVs at an increasingly high rate, and larger vehicles are contributing to more cyclist and pedestrian deaths” in the city.
A recent survey Manhattan Community Board 4 revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the sidewalks in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea neighborhoods, according to a recent report by StreetsBlog. The Community Board surveyed a total of 960 responds, 10% listed as having disabilities, and received 4,909 comments. The average age of the respondents was 52 years old, and 80% of respondents lived in zip codes associated with Community Board 4.