According to authorities, a 22-year-old construction worker died last Friday after falling down an elevator shaft at a Manhattan construction site — making it the most recent construction fatality in a long string of incidents stretching back over the last few years.
While the details of the accident are still unclear, authorities say the victim, later identified as a resident of Yonkers, was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a report by PIX 11.
The incident occurred at a building under construction at 281 Fifth Avenue, near 30th Street. An investigation into the fatal construction fall is ongoing.
This accident shows that New York’s Scaffolding Law is more important than ever
New York has some of the toughest worker safety laws in the country, including the state’s Scaffolding Law, which helps protect workers from construction-related falls.
Given how strict this law is, it likely comes as little surprise that various groups call for changes to, or the outright elimination of, New York’s Scaffolding Law every year — claiming it simply costs too much and is no longer needed.
What some of these groups fail to consider, however, is that construction sites in New York are certainly not getting any safer — as illustrated by the recent death mentioned above. In fact, there have been more than 30 construction-related fatalities since 2015.
This is not the time to be eliminating construction-safety laws, regardless of the impact on a developer’s bottom line. The lives of construction workers are too important to put at risk simply because property owners and contractors want to save money.