Nothing demonstrates more vividly that construction contractors can subject their workers to dangerous - even fatal - conditions with near total impunity than the punishments just proposed in one of the most outrageous incidents in recent memory.
New York will long remember how Edgar and Alcides Moreno plunged 47 floors when their window-washing scaffold gave way on the upper East Side in December.
Edgar was killed. Miraculously, Alcides survived incredibly serious injuries and is walking today.
As described by OSHA, Tractel and City Wide Window Cleaning are guilty, at a minimum, of gross negligence. And the agency says it is moving to impose its maximum permissible fines. A grand total of roughly $20,000 per company.
Less than the cost of a used pickup truck.
For killing a man and subjecting another to grievous injuries.
Financial penalties like that are meaningless as a deterrent to corner-cutting by contractors.
Death comes cheap