New bill seeks to ramp up penalties against construction firms for safety violations

Companies would need to pay as much as $50K per incident

<em>Francisco Moya</em>
Francisco Moya

A new state bill aims to make it easier for the state to go after construction companies that violate safety rules.

State Assembly member Francisco Moya said on Thursday that he’s planning to introduce a bill that would change the state penal code to include a specific set of violations for the construction industry, Crain’s reported. The bill would dramatically increase the maximum fines for companies convicted of felonies from $10,000 to as much as $50,000 per incident.

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“It is time for our courts to have the tools they need to prosecute effectively and bring justice to the workers who unnecessarily lost their lives,” Moya said in a statement.

In December, Harco Construction was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for its role in the death of Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old worker killed at a job site in the Meatpacking District in 2015. Harco, the contractor on the project at 9-19 Ninth Avenue, had been convicted of manslaughter. At the time of the sentencing, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance noted that his office would urge the state Legislature to increase the maximum penalty for corporate conduct that leads to death or serious injury.

In its October issue, The Real Deal examined how contractors and developers balance worker safety with keeping projects on time and on budget. [Crain’s]Kathryn Brenzel