Two workers were killed and another was injured in separate fall accidents on the same day last week in Manhattan. The tragedies prompted a call by Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya for the swift passage of a bill he is sponsoring, known as "Carlos' Law."
The first worker was killed in the morning while he was working on a residential high rise being built on Maiden Lane in the financial district. He fell from the 29th floor to a part of the building close to street level, according to authorities. He was a 43-year-old Ecuadoran native with five children.
The second accident occurred several hours after the first and involved two falling workers. The two workers dropped about 35 feet down an external elevator shaft in a midtown building. One was killed and the other was injured. No further information was available about the workers.
Construction is "one of the most dangerous industries in New York City and even the best trained workers are not immune to accidents," said the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "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."
Assemblyman Moya urges passage of Carlos' Law
Carlos' Law would change the rules to hold the employer, supervisor or person in charge liable should they ignore, disregard or fail to comply with safety protocols that have been established in a law, rule, order, regulation or standard.
If they were held responsible for a worker's injury or death, the person would incur a fine and possibly face criminal charges of endangering the welfare of a worker. The criminal charge could be brought in the first, second or third degree.
That would translate to a Class A misdemeanor charge if the person were accused of directly exposing a worker to the risk of bodily injury. The misdemeanor would carry a penalty of up to $300,000.
If the person were accused of conduct that directly resulted in a serious physical injury or death, the person could be charged with a Class D or E felony with a fine of $500,000.
According to Assemblyman Moya's newsletter, Carlos' Law is named after Carlos Moncayo, who died in a construction accident in 2015. Criminal charges were successfully brought against the construction company involved the death, but the penalty assigned cost the company less than the maximum allowable fine of $35,000.