Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Construction biz like "19th century coal mine"

The city’s construction business, particularly outside of Manhattan, is becoming the modern version of the 19th-century coal mine.

Between early 2006 and the middle of 2007, 44 people died on construction sites, 40 of them in nonunion jobs involving immigrants, said Louis Coletti, the president of an association of builders. Most of those deaths took place in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, records show. Miczyslaw Piatek, 52, was digging a foundation in Brooklyn when the cinder-block wall next door collapsed on him. The wall had not been shored up, a federal investigation found.

Construction Is Up, Inspectors Down. Guess What?

A basic principle of engineering is redundancy: disaster must be preceded by the failure of more than one system. The builders on a $100 million skyscraper in Manhattan are far more likely to have pressure to follow safety standards, not just from the government, but from insurers.

For many smaller projects, there is no one but government to look over the shoulders of contractors. Many of the workers don’t speak English, don’t have papers and simply do what they are told. They will not tie down a plank, or they won’t have a safety harness on, or they will drive a small forklift with too much loaded on it. Such accidents are written off as human error. It happens to be the only kind we have.

More outrage from the Queens Gazette.


Anonymous said...

Too bad Mc Laughlin is a crook.

As former chief of the Central Labor Council,
he could have had his union brothers
picket unsafe non-union construction sites,
instead of using them to do work
on his million dollar Long Island home!

But then again, these same shady "developers"
were probably already contributing $$$$$$$
to his campaign !

Anonymous said...

Until 20 years ago, building and fire code violations were routinely prosecuted by city attorneys in the criminal court.

So what happened to this - as a property owner we did everything by the book - now it's a free for all - everybody blatently does what they want legal or especially not - no one will go after them - the city encourages all this building crap everywhere. We hand developers tax deferments give aways vs existing long time residents are paying for this, watching the crap go up around them and quality of life is sinking to new lows. We and our children will pay dearly for years to come.

verdi said...

Lancaster stands pat while NYC crumbles ....
injuring and killing workers and bystanders!

Anonymous said...

A lot more people are killed in construction accidents than gets in the paper - some estimate that deaths and serious injuries easily number in the 100s.

A real scandal that the ad-taking newspapers and developer donar taking politians will not discuss.

Immigrant advocacy groups are tweeded by the machine and betray thier own constituents with their silence.

Anonymous said...

Title on picture:

I'm lost - I am supposed to be at a press conference on Broadway.

Its says Broadway right here, but is it Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx or Queens?

Can anybody help me?

Anonymous said...

Patricia Lancaster: Once again caught asleep at the wheel.

Time to cut your losses Mayor.

Anonymous said...

At least the construction workers are paid for taking chances. I live in a building under construction by these Yo Yos and I'm uncertain whether I can move before the whole shebang comes crashing down.