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Latinos & Immigrants Account for 3 out of 4 Construction Deaths

Fifteen workers died in construction site accidents in 2014.


New York ‒ Unfortunately, construction site accidents continue to cause numerous deaths among Hispanics and other immigrants in the state of New York. A study revealed that Latinos suffer many more accidents than other workers in that sector. In 2014, more than 15 people lost their lives in New York State while working in construction.

The report, facilitated by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), also states that the victims were Latinos or immigrants in 60% of all deaths due to falls or slips on construction sites investigated during 2012.

In the New York City, the rate goes up to 75%. That is, three out of every four people who died at work on construction sites were Latino or immigrant.

Poor safety conditions in construction jobs place the lives of workers in danger. According to the same study, 89% of all inspected construction sites violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

The report added that many immigrants who suffer injuries at work are unaware of the hazards they may encounter, ignore safety parameters, have not received training of any kind or do not understand English.

Hispanic victims

Delfino Velázquez, a 46-year-old Latino construction worker who worked for Formica Construction, was one of the fatal victims in 2014. He suffered an accident on his site caused by unsafe working conditions.

His daughter Mónica Velázquez said that losing her father has destroyed her life. “I miss my dad every day. My heart is hurting because his death could have been prevented.”

For her part, Delfino’s wife, Martha García, claimed justice for herself and her whole family. She also asked that her husband’s death become a precedent against other construction companies who violate the law and disregard the lives of their workers. “We are going through hard times, both emotionally and financially,” said the widow.

Victims since 2015

Since January 2015, 7 people have died in construction accidents, in New York City said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director at NYCOSH.

In September 2015, 30-year-old Juan Cerezo fell to his death from the 14th floor of the Upper East Side building where he was working.

Measures to prevent more construction accidents

The NYCOSH study pointed out that the best way to prevent accidents of this sort is to increase OSHA funding to allow the agency to inspect every active construction site.

Currently, OSHA has only 71 inspectors for all of New York City, causing most sites to operate without undergoing inspection until a worker dies or gets injured.

If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site or has had any kind of personal injury call Christopher Gorayeb & Associates for a free consultation: (212) 267-9222

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