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Construction & Design

Worker’s death ‘preventable’ says Council

The Building and Construction Trades Council has taken a swipe at the city following the death of a construction worker last week.

Thirty-two-year-old Luis Mata died after being struck by a falling scaffolding plank at a work site in the West Village.

Mata, who was wearing a hard hat, was rushed to hopsital with severe back and neck injuries. He died at the hospital.

According to reports, there were several open violations for The Printing House condominiums site and “no permit in place for roofing, asbestos, exterior repairs and scaffolding.” Its scaffold permit expired in October.

Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said the union mourned the death of Mr. Mata and sent condolences to his family and loved ones.
However, he added, “This latest accident was preventable and underscores yet again the need for a greater emphasis on construction safety and proper workforce training by the City and real estate industry. It is shameful that the Department of Buildings doesn’t seem to adequately comprehend what the problems are, nor have they sought to develop ways to fix them. The non-union sector simply put profits ahead of the safety of workers, and this must end immediately.”

In February, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced that they will quadruple the penalties for serious construction-safety lapses, conduct a wave of more than 1,500 enforcement sweeps, and require new supervision at construction sites citywide to protect workers and the public amid the record building boom.

The City is raising the penalties for serious safety lapses from $2,400 to $10,000, and the penalty for lacking a construction superintendent will increase from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000.
Construction has surged more than 300 percent since 2009.

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