Three Worker Fatalities in NYC in Single Week Prompt Focus on Safety
After three New York City construction workers died on the job within six days, officials are demanding stronger safety measures and promising punitive action against those responsible.
Two of the men died in Manhattan: Gregory Echevarria was struck dead April 13 by a falling crane counterweight at 570 Broome St., site of a luxury condo project; on April 8, Nelson Salinas died after he was hit on the head by a coping stone while working on the facade of a residential building at 311 E. 50 St. And in Brooklyn Heights, Erik Mendoza fell from the roof of a 13-story building at 1 Pierrepont St. on April 10.
“This is … a chilling reminder of the danger the men and women who build our city are subjected to day in and day out,” Councilman Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (D), chair of the council’s committee on housing and buildings, said in a statement released the day Echevarria died. Cornegy also promised to implement measures spelled out in Local Law 196, which requires workers to get 30 extra hours of construction safety training and supervisors 62 hours, by June 1. That deadline is six months later than the original Dec. 1, 2018, date, according to the New York City Dept. of Buildings.
Department spokesman Andrew Rudansky told the Associated Press it was investigating all three deaths and “will hold accountable anyone in the construction industry who endangers workers or the public.”