On April 12, 2017 an experienced construction worker, age 59, fell to his death at a Times Square construction site, and authorities state the accident was preventable.
The Daily News reported that Jose Cruz of Sunset Park fell from an I-beam near the second floor when he was helping remove part of a steel deck from a slab. He was a welder working on the site at 1604 Broadway, near W. 49th Street. He fell at 11:05 a.m. and was rushed to Mount Sinai West where he died.
City Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler believes the accident was completely preventable. He said Cruz’s personal protection equipment should have had tie offs. The Department of Building (DOB) attached a stop work order to the front of the 1604 Broadway site and shut the job down. It will likely be shut down for some time.
The DOB will be increasing safety inspections all around the city and is investigating whether the 1604 Broadway site had a construction superintendent. The Times Square site general contractor was Streamline USA, LLC, according to several city permits issued.
The president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York criticized Cruz’s death, saying it was an unnecessary tragedy and stressed the need for better workforce training.
OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration) cited seven violations in March 2016 given to Streamline USA for violations that OSHA considered serious. The citations arose out of inspectors responding to a complaint made about unsafe job conditions at the 1604 site. OSHA levied $19,200 in fines against the company, which Streamline contested.
In September 2016, OSHA cited the company for two violations related to inadequate scaffolding protection at a different NYC site, 58 Ninth Ave, the address of Homestead Steakhouse. A planned inspection resulted in OSHA issuing the company $17,746 in fines. Payment was listed as pending.
New York City has stiff scaffolding and construction accident laws. Families whose loved ones die in a construction site accident should seek a legal option to protect their rights.
For more than 65 years, Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP has helped numerous people recover compensation for wrongful death and serious injuries.