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Arye, Lustig & Sassower Blog

NYC shuts down Central Park Tower project after worker death

Negligent contractors continue to work on some of the most enormous skyscrapers in New York City. The Department of Buildings (DOB) recently halted work on the 1,550-foot Central Park Tower, also known as Nordstrom Tower, on West 57th Street, according to the Daily News and am New York. But it was too late for a 67-year-old man who was killed in an incredible mishap on the construction site.

On May 26 a large piece of glass was accidentally dropped onto a security guard at the rising Central Park South project, which is to become America's second-tallest skyscraper and home to a Nordstrom department store. Why do these kinds of fatal mistakes continue to happen at big-ticket construction sites in New York City? The answer may be sad but simple.

When TEENAGE construction workers are hurt and killed

Even very young construction workers can be fatally hurt on the job. Sadly, a 19-year-old worker was killed in Northeast Baltimore. The young man was reportedly trapped and buried when a trench collapsed, according to a press release from the City of Baltimore and a news report from WJLA in Washington, D.C.

Why do so many construction workers still die on the job? What protections are in place to protect vulnerable New York City construction workers in their teens and early twenties?

When TEENAGE construction workers are hurt and killed

Even very young construction workers can be fatally hurt on the job. Sadly, a 19-year-old worker was killed in Northeast Baltimore. The young man was reportedly trapped and buried when a trench collapsed, according to a press release from the City of Baltimore and a news report from WJLA in Washington, D.C.

Why do so many construction workers still die on the job? What protections are in place to protect vulnerable New York City construction workers in their teens and early twenties?

A CRISIS of rising construction deaths in New York

Construction workers continue to die unnecessary deaths. Worker fatalities are increasing in the state of New York, according to the 2018 "Deadly Skyline" report released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH). The report referred to this trend as a crisis, and rightly so.

While some inroads have been made in New York City due to somewhat tighter laws and greater advocacy for workers, a statewide construction death record was broken in 2016. An astonishing 71 workers were killed in the state in that one year alone.

Glass panel dropped, security guard killed at Central Park Tower

A security guard was tragically killed on May 27 at the construction site of the new Central Park Tower skyscraper in Manhattan, according to ABC Eyewitness News. A large glass panel measuring eight feet by 14 feet reportedly fell or was dropped while it was being moved, crushing the man.

The city's Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a stop work order after the mishap led to the death of 67-year-old Harry Ramnauth and injured a 27-year-old worker at the site on West 57th Street. Unfortunately, this was not the first such death in 2018.

Annual NYC "hardhat mass" honors 19 construction workers who died

In New York City, 166 construction workers and four others died on the job within a recent 10-year period. On April 26 a mass was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan in honor of those killed in the most recent year. At the end of the service a symbolic hardhat and a rose were given to the family members of the deceased.

According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, the annual Catholic service honored the 19 workers who tragically lost their lives on construction sites over the past year. As we have discussed frequently on our blog, many of these workers lost their lives in preventable accidents caused by safety lapses that are the responsibility of contractors and project owners.

Construction worker struck on the head with a beam in Brooklyn

Each year in New York City, construction workers are hurt by falling objects that shouldn't have fallen. Some of these incidents prove to be fatal, like one in Chelsea last December when a loose piece of scaffolding killed a 34-year-old worker.

In March, another worker was catastrophically injured by a falling object on a construction site, this time in Williamsburg, according to the New York Daily News. An epidemic of dangerous conditions and disregard for worker safety allows this tragic pattern to continue with inadequate accountability for those responsible.

Will more NYC crane inspections mean fewer construction injuries?

Over the past few years, New York City has seen catastrophic accidents involving construction cranes. Most notably, a massive crane collapsed and killed a passerby in lower Manhattan in February 2016, when high winds were present. The tragedy led to greater regulations regarding the operation of cranes under windy conditions, but other crane-related accidents have occurred since then. 

Inspectors from the city's department of buildings (DOB) made surprise crane visits in early April, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. Do stricter inspection protocols and enforcement practices make workers and innocent bystanders safer?

Another "completely preventable" NYC construction worker death

Yet another New York City construction worker has died because of unsafe conditions, this time on Broadway near 49th Street. On April 11, a 59-year-old worker fell to his death at a Times Square construction site, according to the New York Daily News.

After the accident, the city's department of buildings (DOB) placed a stop work order on the site at 1604 Broadway, citing safety violations. But it was too late for Jose Cruz, a worker from Brooklyn, who fell about 18 feet from an I-beam.

Two NYC forklift deaths in a week: One in Brooklyn, one in Queens

Two New York City construction workers died tragically within a week of each other. Both men were killed in accidents involving forklifts. Both accidents seem to have been preventable.

On Saturday, March 10, a worker was crushed to death when a forklift tipped over at a Brooklyn site, as reported by the New York Daily News. Just three days later, on Tuesday, March 13, another worker was killed in Queens due to another forklift error.

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