Building Trades, Features, New York

Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s Statement After Two Construction Workers Killed

September 26, 2017

By Stephanie West

“Two construction workers died today, and another was severely injured. Two different New York Cityconstruction sites saw tragic reminders of this city’s failure to adequately protect workers. These preventable incidents follow more than 30 construction worker deaths during the last two years. I extend my prayers and condolences to the families who have lost loved ones. I stand with the workers who face danger every day. I call for a swift and thorough investigation that leads to full accountability and criminal prosecution for everyone responsible .

The time for action to protect construction workers is now. No other industry would accept such consistently high levels of danger and there is no justification for our delay imposing strict construction safety training for all workers. Too often, those who are injured or killed are immigrants laboring at insufficiently monitored work sites. As Chair of the City Council Committee on Immigration I have a special responsibility to speak out for immigrant workers who lack access to safety training and workplace protections.

I mourn with the families and co-workers struck by so many preventable tragedies. I’m also reminded of the serious life altering injuries workers endure that never make it into the newspapers. Our City’s construction industry must not be allowed to sacrifice workers’ lives and health for the sake of profit. Saving lives is not a question of large or small projects, nor a discussion of union or non-union work sites. It is a topic that should never be derailed by lobbying about the modest time and cost for worker safety training. It is immoral and dishonest for New York City to continue accepting preventable losses of life at construction sites.

My City Council colleagues and I are leading the push to enact legislation that will help end our City’s construction death emergency. Intro 1447 specifies construction site safety training and should be passed and signed into law immediately. It is our obligation to pass this and other measures to end our construction safety crisis.”

September 26, 2017

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