The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Recent Construction Worker Fatalities

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The very nature of the work is dangerous enough. This is why there are so many safety regulations in place that specifically apply to the construction industry. Unfortunately, many of these safety regulations are not observed. This makes an already dangerous job even more likely to result in injury to workers. New York City knows this better than most. A recent slue of construction worker fatalities in the City is a stark reminder of the fact that construction workers, while providing an integral service to the City’s structure, are risking their lives every day.

Three Construction Worker Fatalities Occur in Less Than a Week in NYC

In an exceptionally grim week for the NYC construction industry, three construction workers on three different job sites throughout the City were killed while on the job. The first of which was Nelson Salinas, age 51. On April 8th, Mr. Salinas was repairing the façade of an apartment building on the East Side of Manhattan. He was hit on the head with a stone while performing the exterior work on the residential building. His injuries were fatal. Erik Mendoza was the next fatality of the week. Only 23 years old, Mr. Mendoza fell to his death while he was working on the roof of a 13 story Brooklyn building.

The last fatality of the week was April 13th at approximately 3:15am. Gregory Echevarria, 34, was crushed while assembling a crane. Mr. Echevarria was working on a 25 story residential building when he was setting up the crane. The crane’s counterweight fell on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other construction site workers sustained minor injuries in the accident.

These recent deaths are a stark reminder of the dangers of working in construction. They come after the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health released numbers showing that the number of fatal construction accidents in the City had actually decreased between 2013 to 2017, even when fatalities increased in New York State during the same time frame. The City’s construction-related deaths had decreased by 23% with only having 20 reported incidents.

The NYC Buildings Department has promised that anyone who may have contributed to compromising the safety of the workers that resulted in their deaths will be held accountable. NYC lawmakers have also been stressing the necessity of proper safety trainings following these recent construction fatalities. Council member Robert Cornegy Jr. has emphasized the importance of building officials complying with the construction safety training laws that were passed back in 2017. NYC laws require that workers on construction sites receive 30 hours of safety training. Supervisors are required to receive 62 hours of training. This training must be complete by June 1, 2019. Also, workers must complete an additional 10 hours of training by September 1, 2020. Failure to comply with these safety training requirements will result in monetary penalties. Building permit holders will be subject to a $5,000 fine per untrained worker. Additionally, the building permit holder may be charged $2,500 for failing to maintain proper safety training records for the site employees.

Protecting Those Construction Site Workers Who Risk Their Lives Every Day.

We depend on construction workers. They are an integral part of our community. Unfortunately, they are not always protected on their job like they should be. The result is injury, even death. At The Cassidy Law Firm, we make sure that injured construction workers are properly compensated for their losses. We proudly serve Shrewsbury and Monmouth County. Contact us today.

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