Statement on East Village Explosion from NYCOSH ED Charlene Obernauer

Our hearts go out to the people hurt and displaced in yesterday’s East Village explosion, to their loved ones, to the workers, firefighters, and to the East Village Community. Unfortunately, many tragedies that occur are not random accidents, but preventable situations. We learned of news reports that day laborers had been working at the site of yesterday’s explosion. It is often the case that non-union employers are negligent about safety and health oversight and training for their workers—with 79% of fatalities on the job occurring at non-union sites. Latino immigrants are disproportionately impacted by unsafe jobs and we hope that is not the case in this incident. The City needs to launch a thorough investigation into this contracting company to see if they put workers, the general public and our environment in harm’s way.