New York Construction Industry Too Often Prioritizes Profit at the Expense of Workers’ Safety

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are often at the forefront when it comes to issues involving worker safety. We try and stay on top of the trends impacting the hardworking women and men in the construction industry. In New York, there is an ever growing and troubling trend of awarding lucrative contracts to the lowest bidder without regard to the quality of the work and, more importantly, whether the work will be done safely. Why? This tactic increases the profit margin for the wealthy developer.

It is well settled that a large number of construction accidents occur as a result of developers hiring contractors that have no business being responsible for worksite safety. All too frequently, in order to maximize profit, developers hire contractors that submit the lowest bid, knowing that these contractors also have the worst worksite safety records in the industry.

A prime example of this practice was recently seen when developer The Brodsky Organization hired Breeze National Inc., to perform demolition work alongside a Queens Church in order to erect two residential apartment buildings. Breeze National was hired despite a deplorable safety record, which includes multiple deaths and injuries to its workers, multiple violations and fines due to safety violations, as well as the conviction of the former owner of the company for bribing a health inspector to overlook safety violations. The company is now run by that former owner’s son. What possible motivation could there be for a wealthy developer to retain this contractor given the contractor’s history? It says here that for the answer to this question you must follow the money. One thing is certain, it has nothing to do with worker safety.

There is no doubt that providing reasonable safety protections will result in some added costs for these projects. Reasonable safety protections, which are mandated by law, require a thorough safety plan, proper supervision and enforcement and the right equipment. Contractors willing to incur these added costs, will undoubtedly spend a little more money, increasing the bids submitted to developers. However, by incurring these costs up front, developers, who are making multiple million dollar profits, will also benefit from fewer accidents thereby reducing overall costs in the long run. Oh yeah, by hiring competent contractors, developers will also do their part in helping prevent the senseless deaths of countless men and women who work hard to build our cities and towns.

The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP are dedicated to the representation of workers that have been injured or killed due to preventable construction accidents. They have amassed an impressive number of courtroom victories for injured construction workers and have more than $750,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their clients. For a free consultation feel free to call 212-736-5300 or visit our website at



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