There has been yet another unfortunate construction worker fatality in New York City. Yesterday, Mr. Jose Cruz, 59, was working on a site in Times Square when he fell from an I-beam. Mr. Cruz fell 18 feet down onto the sidewalk and he later passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital.
In an interview with The Daily News, neighbors and friends said that Mr. Cruz was a father who was hard working and friendly to everyone. A local deli owner who knew Mr. Cruz for over 15 years said that he put safety first; mentioning that before starting any job Mr. Cruz would always make sure he had his harness. His neighbor said that he had been previously hurt during a construction site accident involving a crane.
The general contractor of the accident site is Steamline USA LLC. Last year, Steamline was fined for seven safety violations on the same Time Square worksite after the U.S. Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) received complaints about unsafe work conditions. The fines totaled $19,200 which the company has been allegedly contesting. The Department of Buildings (DOB) is currently investigating other possible safety violations and whether the site had a required safety superintendent.
While on the site of the accident, NYC’s building Commissioner, Rick Chandler, told reporters that the Commission thinks that the accident “was completely preventable.” He said that “[t]here should have been a tie off with his personal protection equipment which he was wearing.” It found that the construction site could have been a lot safer. The Commission is shutting down the site and said “it’s going to be shut down for some time” to try to make contractors realize that a construction project is not worth risking anyone’s life.
The Commissioner is taking a stand against greedy contractors who risk their workers’ safety in order to save money. The experienced team of attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff is dedicated to bringing justice for victims of construction site accidents. Our firm strives to give those injured the compensation they rightfully deserve. Michael Lamonsoff himself has been a long time advocate for increasing the safety standards used at construction sites.
“Contractors that are building these buildings are not using the safety protocol and safety equipment that are available to them. They are not providing workers with proper safety equipment and not providing workers with proper safety tools. These contractors are choosing profit through speed of construction over their own workers’ lives and safety.”
Legislation is needed to force contractors to provide a safe working environment for our construction workers. Workers deserve to have tools, machinery, and policies that will protect them from preventable harm. City Council is currently debating over the NYC Construction Safety Act, a safety bill that would require additional safety measures to be added to construction sites. You can help protect workers by being informed and helping spread awareness of this devastating problem. Write to your city council to show that the citizens of NYC care about the safety of our construction workers.
Michael Lamonsoff has fought tirelessly for the rights of our city’s most vulnerable employees, construction workers. For over 20 years, his firm has been fighting for the rights of these workers. If you or a loved one has been injured in or around a construction site, seek out advice from an experienced attorney and watch the video below to hear what Michael Lamonsoff has to say about these tragic accidents.