GMS Blog

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11
Sep

Construction In The Big Apple: Technology Tackles Safety Concerns

New York City hasn’t seemed to stop growing, spurring on a construction surge that has struggled to keep up with demand: the metro area saw construction activity worth $15 billion from January 2018 through May 2018, more than any other major metro.
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Unfortunately, with booms come busts — the Big Apple has seen an <a href=”https://www.constructiondive.com/news/nyc-construction-accidents-fatalities-on-the-rise/531550/”>unsettling increase</a> in construction-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities due to the constant activity. Records show an 18.4% increase from the prior year, bumping the number up from 386 to 457, and construction-related deaths doubled (from four to eight). Manhattan is at the forefront of these occurrences, with the highest number of accidents (248), injuries (253) and deaths (4) out of all five boroughs.
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New York City officials have been desperately trying to combat this trend with new safety requirements; for starters, they passed a new regulation demanding that all construction workers go through 40 hours of safety training. Surprisingly, some non-union contractors and developers are fighting the regulations, stating that the cost of implementing a 40-hour safety program would be a financial burden on small construction business and independent contractors.
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In construction, everything comes down to time and money. This is why so many worker’s compensation and construction accident claims are settled by an arbitrator; by settling out of court, construction companies can save time (cases last around 232 days — <a href=”http://cokinoslaw.com/news/research-facts/”>less than eight months</a>) and therefore money, and the proceedings can be kept confidential. In fact, the same thing goes for personal injury cases: <a href=”http://www.mayorlaw.com/3-common-reasons-people-hire-attorneys/”>around 95-96% are settled pretrial</a>. When time is of the essence (and you don’t want your reputation sullied), you choose the option that will be over the quickest.
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Fortunately, there are new <a href=”https://www.forconstructionpros.com/asphalt/article/21016027/innovation-can-combat-construction-struggles”>technological innovations</a> that do wonders in preventing workplace accidents, and <em>without</em> replacing the human component.
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“Some innovations reduce the skill level required to install a product or system, allowing contractors to populate crews with fewer specialized workers. Some others reduce installation time, which allows a crew to do more work in a given day. Some innovations do all the above.”
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From wearable technologies that monitor worker and equipment activity to <a href=”https://www.expouav.com/news/latest/digitizing-the-construction-world/”>drones</a> that are able to survey hard-to-reach and dangerous environments, the risk of construction accidents and injuries is significantly reduced. It all comes down to the simple matter of implementing the technology available to us.

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