After the sad deaths of 2 construction workers in New York City, Assemblyman Francisco Moya is pressing lawmakers to pass a construction safety law. The proposed bill is called “Carlos’ Law”. It is named after deceased construction worker Carlos Moncayo, who died in a construction accident in 2015. The law has lingered up in Albany, passing the Assembly but not getting through the Senate. “Carlos’ Law” would increase criminal penalties against construction site managers and employers who continuously fail to follow generally accepted safety rules and regulations that result in serious injury or death.
Worksite deaths are particularly impactful to Moya. In a Daily News article, he was quoted describing one of the construction accident victims as someone who “was like so many hard-working immigrants” from his district. Moya continued in emphatic fashion, saying the victim “worked tirelessly to put food on the table for his family and, whether he knew it or not, put his life at risk just by stepping on a nonunion work site where most of these accidents occur.”
Moya’s point is well taken. Construction work is dangerous for all workers whether they are union or nonunion. While union construction workers confront dangerous conditions frequently, it is immigrants, particularly Latinos, who are working at nonunion construction sites that make up the majority of victims in these fatal accidents. It is too well settled to dispute that nonunion construction labor is far more dangerous than union work.
Construction workers go to work in the morning to provide comfort and security for their family and far too often they never come home. The culprit for these senseless deaths is frequently a blatant worker safety violation perpetuated by an employer who was motivated to take short cuts so the job was completed faster. Profits before People! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of both deceased workers. Two lives lost. Two tragic stories.
Moya’s proposed law would allow for construction site supervisors in charge of safety to face felony charges if they were found to be responsible for a severe injury or death caused by a safety violation at their work site. They would also face a pretty hefty fine. Moya’s goals here are pure and noble. They are just. He is trying to level a very uneven playing field by using this law to motivate those in power at a construction site to make sure that it is as safe as possible for everyone. Construction workers should not have to risk their lives to build our city and state. We will be monitoring how lawmakers in Albany handle this bill. If it becomes law, it says here that it will save lives.
The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are committed to making sure that our clients receive maximum compensation under law. If you or someone to care about has been injured in a serious construction accident, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form for a FREE legal consultation.