New York City’s Construction Laws Still Being Ignored

New York City is filled with skyrises, luxury condos and construction workers that are being paid to work in dangerous working conditions. An electrician was working on one of the luxury condos that stands 900 feet above Manhattan when he slipped through a hole in the floor.

The plywood that was covering the hole cracked, sending the worker to the emergency room as his leg was cut by rebar protruding from the floor.

The accident shouldn’t happen, but it’s a common occurrence in New York City. Workers are often put at risk while construction companies fail to meet safety training requirements under a bill passed by the New York City Council.

The Council hoped that the bill would reduce injuries and accidents in the city’s construction industry by increasing the safety training for all construction workers. Over 40 pages of injuries were documented in New York City in August alone.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 20 percent of all U.S. workplace fatalities in 2013 occurred on construction jobsites, despite strict federal and state safety regulations,” explains Strom & Associates.

New York City Council members are finally looking to take action, enforcing the safety training laws that they enacted almost a year ago. The move a worker was killed at 570 Broome, marking the third death at a construction site in a week.

A counterweight fell on a 34-year-old construction worker named Gregory Echevarria when the crane was being erect at the site at 3:15 a.m. There had been at least two safety complaints filed with the Department of Buildings prior to Echevarria’s death.

Two other workers died within a week from accidents that may have been preventable. One worker was laying bricks when he fell to his death, while another was killed by falling debris. Council members claim that the deaths are a “reminder of the importance of implementing the construction site safety training mandates of Local Law 196 of 2017.”

Local Law 196 requires that all construction workers complete 100 hours of safety training. Insufficient resources pushed the initial 30-hour phase of training back six months in November. Opponents of the law claim that the law favored union members who already undergo a 100-hour training program.

“Lack of resources” has led to three deaths in one week, and potential lawsuits against building owners and construction companies that violate safety laws.

Potentially life-saving skills have been overlooked by the Department of Buildings which pushed back the initial training phase. New York Construction sites had 744 injuries in 2017 – 2018. Twice per day, accidents occur on construction sites in the city that could have been avoided if safety training was a priority.

Injuries and deaths totaled 212 per year just a few