Two New York City construction workers at two different worksites plunged to their deaths and another was seriously injured Thursday – a day after the City Council approved a controversial construction safety bill.
In one incident, news sources say workers were raising a framework to begin pouring a concrete floor for a luxury condo high-rise when 36-year-old Juan Chonillo fell 29 stories to his death. The Ecuadorian immigrant had ten years of construction experience.
Nine violations in nine months
Chonillo’s employer, non-union SSC High Rise Construction, has wracked up nine code violations and thousands of dollars in penalties at the worksite since the beginning of the year.
In another incident, two workers fell from a bucket lift 36 feet in the air. One died at the scene. The other suffered head trauma and was taken to hospital by first responders.
What's in the bill
The construction safety bill passed unanimously by the City Council mandates 40 hours of safety training for workers - at t least eight of which must focus on fall hazards and the dangers of falling objects at construction sites.
Opponents fear the bill will cost thousands of construction workers their jobs. They also charge that it favors large corporations who can afford to pay for the training. Those against the bill include real estate organizations.