Construction industry calls for mandatory booze testing following explosive undercover investigation

Workers at four sites were caught on camera pounding back beers and shots during lunch breaks

TRD New York /
Mar.March 02, 2016 11:41 AM

Liquid lunch takes on a whole new meaning when those imbibing are construction workers.

An ABC-7 Eyewitness News investigation last month found some construction workers gulping down beers and shots during their 45-minute break while eating little-to-no food. The news program’s hidden cameras caught construction workers from at least four different building sites drinking over three lunch breaks and then heading back to the site.

One was a carpenter who went back work and used a chainsaw. Another was a worker in charge of ensuring cranes and heavily materials are safely lifted and used, Eyewitness News reported.

There were 18 construction fatalities in New York City last year.

Lou Coletti, head of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, told the news program that the organization is working with city officials to make mandatory alcohol testing the law.

The DOB called the workers’ conduct “outrageous,” and City Councilman Jumaane Williams told Eyewitness News, “If you’re on a job, any job, much less a construction job, going on lunch and drinking, it’s problematic.”

Amid a construction boom, there has been an increase in construction accidents and fatalities. Since 2009, construction has tripled, with 88 million square feet built in 2015. Over the same period, accidents have doubled, with a total of 433 citywide in 2015.

After a fatal crane collapse in Lower Manhattan earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will quadruple fines for serious safety lapses and undertake “proactive” safety investigations at 1,500 job sites. [ABC 7 NY]Dusica Sue Malesevic

Related Articles

311 East 50th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

City moves to revoke license of contractor it blames for construction worker’s death

880 St. Nicholas Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Pair of NYC construction honchos to lose licenses over worker death

335 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Scaffold at Milstein tower didn’t have guardrails when worker fell to his death: Department of Buildings

859 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

NYC saw at least dozen construction deaths in 2018. Only 1 was reported

Developer behind fatal facade collapse that killed 2-year-old to pay city $50K, but won’t serve time

Officials at rally say construction tax fraud and fatalities are linked

After rash of construction worker deaths, NYC council member promises to finally implement safety law

Construction worker falls to his death working on Brooklyn rooftop