Fewer construction workers died on the job in 2009 across the five boroughs compared to 2008, according to the city Buildings Department.
Three people died last year in construction accidents, while 19 died the year earlier. The slowing economy is only part of the story.
Construction activity fell by one-third, while the number of fatalities fell more than twice as fast. The number of workers injured on the job actually rose over the two years, though Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri says that trend is due to more stringent reporting requirements.
Construction experts say the city's emphasis on safety appears to be paying off, although they also credit unions and contractors with cooperating in the effort.