Two more construction workers fell to their deaths in two separate fatal construction accidents in Manhattan yesterday – this makes eight construction site deaths in New York City this year. Both job sites had previously been issued stop-work orders, code violations, and thousands of dollars in fines. In spite of all that, they’ve still failed to make the proper safety improvements which could have saved the lives of two innocent workers.
36-Year Old Construction Worker Dies In Fatal Crane Accident
In the first of the two fatal accidents, 36-year-old Juan Chonillo fell 29 stories from a job site in lower Manhattan. Chonillo’s cousin told the New York Daily News that the workers were freeing the crane from the building when a cable got stuck and Juan fell.
Just the day before the accident, city buildings inspectors issued a partial stop-work order due to unsafe operation of a crane, which was still in effect when Thursday’s accident happened. The inspectors also found that the crane had no approved permit. This site has a history of safety issues, including nine construction-related code violations since January of this year.
1 Worker Killed, 1 Injured in Fall From Bucket Lift
In the second accident of the day, two 45-year-old men fell from a bucket lift near W. 33rd St. and Hudson Yards. One of the men died at the scene, while the other suffered head trauma and was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
This is the second fatal construction accident to occur at this site since June of this year, when another worker plummeted five stories to his death after stepping through a wooden platform. Building inspectors shut down the site following the June accident but lifted the stop-work order on June 21st after a safety plan was submitted.
Multiple Groups Call For Construction Safety Improvements
Since 2015, there have been 45 employee deaths at construction sites in New York City. Beginning that year and continuing today, activists from various groups have been speaking out and protesting the city’s refusal to adequately address this crisis.
These latest two accidents have brought this issue to the forefront again, as both the President of the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors and the President of the Building and Construction Trades Council called for mandatory and comprehensive safety training for all New York City construction workers.
Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya responded to the deaths by renewing calls for the passage of his worker safety bill, known as Carlos’ Law, which would charge managers and developers with felonies if they were found to be responsible for the injury or death of one of their workers.
Both of these fatal accidents are currently under investigation.
How Can Families Of Fatal Construction Accident Victims Get Justice?
It’s good to see that lawmakers are beginning to take the problem of construction worker safety in New York City seriously. But for the families of those who have already perished in preventable construction accidents, these measures are too little and too late. While new legislation can help prevent other workers and families from suffering similar tragedies, what can be done for the families who have already lost a loved one?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal construction accident in NYC, the lawyers at Lipsig Law can help your family. In cases where a death only occurs because of egregious safety violations on the part of an owner, developer, or other party involved with the site, it may be possible to hold these parties liable through wrongful death lawsuits. These lawsuits don’t just help provide financial compensation for difficulties related to your loved one’s death – they also help demand accountability from those who continue to ignore the pressing issue of inadequate safety for our city’s construction workers.
If enough people take legal action, they can make the changes necessary to ensure that no New York City construction worker dies in a preventable work accident again. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.