Juan Cerezo, 30, was killed in another New York City construction accident that occurred this week in Manhattan. The fatal accident is the 7th deadly construction accident in New York City this year.
Mr. Cerezo, who hailed from the Bronx, was working on the 14th floor façade of the Sherman Towers on East 76th Street on Manhattan’s east side late Tuesday afternoon. The building was undergoing a major renovation. Mr. Cerezo plummeted from his work area, falling eight stories. His body violently crashed down on an unforgiving scaffold, shocking co-workers and nearby pedestrians. He was rushed by emergency personnel to Cornell Hospital but they were unable to save his life. He was pronounced dead shortly after the accident.
The Department of Buildings has begun an investigation. They placed a stop-work order on the project while they probe how and why this tragedy took place. Much of the focus will be on whether this work mandated that Mr. Cerezo labor with a safety harness or some other means of fall protection. They will also seek information about whether safety harnesses were readily available for workers who were required to do their job more than 100 feet above the concrete jungle of Manhattan.
There will be a great deal of explaining to do if Mr. Cerezo was not afforded the appropriate fall protection. If he was compelled to work 14 stories off the ground without a safety harness then his blood will be on the hands of the folks in charge of safety at this jobsite. Too often construction workers are exposed to unnecessary dangers because their supervisors are being pressured to finish a job faster. It leads to shortcuts when it comes to safety. This leads to serious and fatal accidents.
Mr. Cerezo’s death is yet another senseless loss of life in the construction industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones and co-workers of Mr. Cerezo. May he rest in peace.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm committed to fighting on behalf of construction workers and their families. You can learn more about this team of trial lawyers and their courtroom victories by reviewing the firm website at www.blockotoole.com.