Recently, construction workers for the Hudson Yards project, a 28-acre mega development in Manhattan, were allegedly seen drinking alcohol over their lunch break at a nearby pub.
Although New York City officials, union heads and industry representatives have issued mandatory alcohol testing to reduce these incidents in the past, alcohol consumption over lunch breaks has remained an issue in the New York construction industry for years.
Hudson Yards developer, The Related Companies, has responded to the alleged incident with assurance that the company upholds a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol or drug use by employees who work at the construction site.
The construction industry had the second highest rate of heavy alcohol use among full-time workers between 2008 to 2012. Alcohol use by construction workers raises safety concerns for other workers, passersby and the integrity of the finished job.
Safety concerns increase under the influence of alcohol
Drinking alcohol can impair an individual’s awareness by causing:
- Lack of judgement
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
Hangovers can also make workers feel fatigue, negatively impacting their ability to focus.
In these conditions, workers are much more susceptible to common construction accidents such as:
- A fall from high elevation
- Injury from falling objects
- Self-inflicted injuries from sharp tools
If you are aware of a construction employee drinking or engaging in other impairing substances prior to or during work, tell your employer. Construction workers who are under the influence at work pose a huge risk of injury to those surrounding them.
If you’ve been injured while working on a construction site, contact an attorney to discuss whether you may be entitled to workers' compensation.