Two construction workers, one of them a father of five children, fell to their deaths at separate building sites on Thursday.
The first death occurred in the morning at a residential high-rise construction site in the financial district. Juan Chohillo fell from the 29th floor of the Manhattan tower to a part near street level, authorities said.
The residential tower is being built on Maiden Lane, which runs from near the South Street Seaport to near the World Trade Center site.
Chohillo’s cousin Angel Munoz told the New York Post the 43-year-old Chohillo was a native of Ecuador and had five children.
The second death occurred several hours later. Police said two workers fell about 35 feet from an external elevator shaft in midtown Manhattan, killing one and injuring the other.
The president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Gary LaBarbera, said construction is “one of the most dangerous industries in New York City and even the best trained workers are not immune to accidents.”
“We must end this epidemic and come together as a city to ensure that we do everything in our power to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities for the men and women who are building our skyline,” LaBarbera said.
Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya, a Democrat, reacted to the deaths by urging passage of his worker safety legislation, called Carlos’ Law, which would make managers or developers liable for ignoring, disregarding or failing to comply with safety protocols established by a law, standard, rule, order or regulation. Those found responsible for worker injuries or deaths would incur increased fines and could face criminal charges for endangering the welfare of a worker in the third, second and first degrees.
Moya, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Workplace Safety Assembly, unveiled the bill earlier this year. Under the bill, such conduct could result in a class A misdemeanor if it directly exposes an employee to risk of bodily injury, carrying a potential sentence of $25,000, or a class E felony with $50,000 in fines if the conduct directly resulted in serious physical injury.
The legislation is named after another Ecuadorean immigrant killed at a construction site.
Thursday’s construction site falls are under investigation.
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