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Experienced Construction Accident Attorney Calls on New York State to Launch Construction Fatality Database
July 19, 2022
NEW YORK, NY — Last year, a state law went into effect to establish a public database to report worker fatalities at construction sites. However, despite the high number of worker deaths in New York, often at the same work site, there is still no construction site fatality database. Ronald J. Katter, of The Katter Law Firm, says it is imperative that the state set up the database, as soon as possible.
In February 2021, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that was sponsored by New York State Senator Jessica Ramos that required construction firms, medical professionals and coroners to report all construction-related deaths to the state Department of Labor. The agency, in turn, was required to set up and maintain the Workplace Fatalities Registry, where it would enter the data it collected and make it available to the public. The registry was supposed to be online one year exactly after the governor’s approval.
Although the NYS DOL launched a website for the database, the records have not yet been made public. The agency claims it has not received any data since the bill became law. However, a report from the New York City Department of Buildings found that nine people died on construction jobs in 2021.
“I find it reprehensible that the Department of Labor has yet to launch this construction worker fatality database, despite the known deaths of these workers,” Mr. Katter says. “The agency has had nearly a year and a half to work on this, but its registry is still not up and running. The NYS DOL needs to be held accountable for its lack of data oversight and its failure to keep the working public up to date on the number and location of construction-related fatalities.”