A young construction worker fatally fell from a building in New York City last Wednesday. 23 year old Erik Mendoza was replacing bricks underneath a water tower located on the rooftop of 1 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights when he fell off the building. A Mexican immigrant, Mendoza had arrived in the US 5 years ago. He had just started his job as a construction worker for the building a week before the accident.
No permit required doesn’t mean no worker protection
The work Mendoza was doing wasn’t didn’t require a permit, however it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that employees effectuate their work in safe conditions. As he was working under the water tower with a colleague, he slipped and fell 13 stories, landing in front of the entrance of the luxury co-op pre-war building.
A stop work order was issued on the property and a complaint was opened with the following comment FAILURE TO PROVIDE SAFETY MEASURES FOR ROOF OPERATIONS.STOP ALL ROOF AND EXTERIOR WORK. Over the years the building accumulated 39 violations with two of them still open.
The mother of the victim was heart broken. As she went with her family to visit the site of the accident and leave some candles and flowers she told PIX11 New York that her son was a serious worker who would never miss a day at work.
According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips and trips are the number one cause of workplace fatalities in New York City, killing 36 workers in 2017. Male hispanic or latino workers hired by the private construction industry sector are the most at risk of dying on the job.
Another worker died in a construction accident two days before in Manhattan. He was hit by falling debris while working on a scaffold. (see previous blog)
Read more at PIX 11 New York