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

Delay in enforcement attributed to swath of new laws, competing priorities

TRD New York /
May.May 06, 2019 10:30 AM
859 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

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

Starting June 1, the DOB will issue $2,500 initial violations to building owners who fail to report deaths or injuries, with the possibility of additional daily $1,000 fines, The City reported.

“We’re implementing dozens of new laws and have had to allocate our resources among many major priorities,” a DOB spokesperson told The City in a written statement. “Developers need to be aware that we will be holding them to their obligations under the law and taking all appropriate enforcement actions if they fail to meet those obligations.”

Although at least a dozen construction workers died on the job in New York City in 2018, only one death was reported to the DOB — that of Over Paredes, who was crushed to death by falling debris at 859 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn.

The injury and fatality notification law, or Local Law 78 of 2017, was one of roughly 50 construction safety laws introduced by the de Blasio administration since January 2017.

Three construction workers were killed on the job in a single week last month, leading Council member Robert Cornegy, Jr. to promise that he would ensure the enforcement of another 2017 law, which requires all construction workers to complete an approved 100-hour safety training program. Enforcement of that law had also been postponed due to “insufficient” resources

City officials have also linked construction fatalities with tax fraud, noting that contractors who pay workers off the books are also likely to cut corners when it comes to workplace safety. [The City] — Kevin Sun

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