NYCOSH Statement on April 12th Worker Death and Urgent Safety Measures
We are saddened and outraged that less than one month away from Workers’ Memorial Day, we have to add one more name to the list of fallen workers. Jose Cruz, a father of two of Sunset Park, died at 59 years old due to a preventable fall on a dangerous construction site. Someone who knew him for more than a decade told the New York Daily News that Cruz had expressed that jobsite safety mattered to him. The general contractor, Streamline USA LLC, had been fined already twice for failing to protect worker safety at another site and specifically on this site OSHA last year issued the contractor seven “serious” violations after inspectors responded to a complaint about unsafe job conditions.
At a time when OSHA has just 66 inspectors in its New York State staff to investigate worksite safety across all industries, the Trump Administration proposes severe cuts to the OSHA budget, cutting both enforcement and training programs. Hiring has been frozen at the federal level with the only exception being 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 5,000 new Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) agents. The targeting of non-union and immigrant workers makes it less likely that they will report dangerous conditions, increasing the likelihood of these tragedies unless we act now.
NYCOSH believes that worker health is public health. When bosses chose neglect and tolerate dangerous conditions that impact workers, passersby and the environment, they must suffer real consequences. From training to advocacy and enforcement, NYCOSH organizes with community and union partners to seek systemic changes and public protections for safe and healthy jobs.
Carlos’ Law is named after Carlos Moncayo who was killed in a preventable trench collapse in 2015. The proposed state law would ensure that safety violators pay a hefty fine in the case of a worker fatality. And in New York City Intro 1447 would ensure a robust apprenticeship program including safety training for construction workers. Together, these proposals address the responsibility of employers to make sure job sites and workers are safer. These laws if passed will contribute to the various tools and strategies we can implement to prevent these tragic deaths.