Building Trades, Features, Health and Safety, New York

Gearing Up

June 12, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

Construction has resumed in New York City. However, tension is still high after recent events. Some of New York City’s office buildings have been looted and vandalized. 

Buildings like 437 Madison for example had three of their main lobby windows smashed by eight people in masks. The damage to the building’s atrium was done during one of the nighttime protests. Video surveillance captured the footage but no arrests have been made.

When asked about the city’s greenlight to resume construction, a source from the building explained the mood of the essential personnel is confused and concerned. One of the concerns mentioned was transportation. “What are the trains going to be like,” asked the source. “What about the busses?” “People are coming back to work now. What’s it going to look like when there’s a bunch of people looking to cram in an elevator?” “There’s a lot to be concerned about,” said the source.

At another jobsite, Local 157 Carpenter Tom Watson said, “It’s good to get back to work,” but called his return,”Bittersweet.” 

“It was sad to see the buildings with boarded up windows,” said Watson. “I took a bunch of pictures because I almost couldn’t believe what happened.”
When asked about the compliance at his jobsite to adhere to health and safety guidelines, Watson explained, “Everyone is wearing masks and gloves and keeping their distance.”

The City is working to open up after a long shutdown. However, as far as many are concerned, it is hard to celebrate in the wake of our recent tragedies and social disorder. 

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at bennyk1972@gmail.com.

June 12, 2020

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