NYCOSH Statement on Construction Industry Regulations and Enforcement

For Immediate Release:  February 9, 2016

Contact: Monica Novoa

Communications Director, NYCOSH

Cell: (929) 366-5320


NYCOSH Statement on Construction Industry Regulations and Enforcement

All New Yorkers must be guaranteed a safe workplace. Construction work will always be hazardous, but it should not be deadly. The fatalities of the past couple of years and months–including the crane collapse on February 5th–demonstrate a disturbing trend in New York’s construction industry. It’s only the second week of February and already, two people have been killed as a result of construction incidents in New York City.

“The recent crane collapse and resulting regulations by Mayor de Blasio is common sense legislation, but the increasing number of workers and pedestrians killed in construction incidents in our city–from small to large projects–shows us that we need to think bigger and act bolder to protect all New Yorkers,” said Charlene Obernauer, executive director of NYCOSH.

“Workers provide for their families and help our communities thrive. These injuries and fatalities are destroying the lives of families and livelihoods of New Yorkers in the construction industry and now we see how this crisis is taking the lives of pedestrians too,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Coordinator of the Real Affordability for All Coalition.

NYCOSH called for increased penalties for employers who willingly violate health and safety regulations and put workers lives at risk in its report, “The Price of Life” in 2015 and is continuing to highlight the need to prosecute bad actors.

“When contractors knowingly break the law and put workers’ lives in danger, they must be held accountable and charged like the criminals they are,” said Obernauer.