Photo Courtesy of Sen. Peralta’s Office
“We are facing an unacceptable crisis when we are talking about the number of on-the-job deaths and serious injuries,” Sen. Peralta said.
By Forum Staff
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and New Immigrant Community Empowerment on Thursday urged his colleagues in the Upper Chamber to debate and approve Carlos’ Law, which is aimed at protecting construction workers from employers who do not comply with required safety regulations.
Named in honor of Carlos Moncayo, who was killed in April 2015 in an accident on a construction site in Manhattan, the measure increases fines and penalties whenever a developer “ignores, disregards or fails” to follow safety protocols and procedures, and that “contributes directly to bodily injury, serious physical injury or the death of a worker.”
According to Peralta, the proposed legislation would amend current penal law to increase fines and penalties up to $500,000 for offending developers.
“We are facing an unacceptable crisis when we are talking about the number of on-the-job deaths and serious injuries. We must ensure we use all the necessary resources to help reduce occupational deaths and injuries. Edgar Pazmino. Carlos Moncayo. Juan Chonillo. They were all killed at construction sites. It is time we honor their memory by working all together to avoid any future on the job deaths,” Peralta said. “We have an obligation to protect workers, and this is why it is imperative we debate Carlos’ Law on the Senate floor this year.”
To bolster his message, the senator also cited a 2013 report by the Center for Popular Democracy which indicated that immigrants are disproportionally killed in construction accidents. Between 2003 and 2011, 75 percent of construction workers who died on the job were U.S.-born Latinos or immigrants.
“Nearly 500 construction workers have been killed in the past decade in the state of New York, and we won’t rest until something is done about this crisis,” NICE Executive Director Manuel Castro added.