Ongoing Construction Worker Deaths Highlight the Need for Greater Safety Measures

Unionized construction workers carry symbolic coffins to protest the deaths in NYC’s construction industry.

New York, NY – On Saturday, May 22, 2021, construction worker Diego Lliguicota was tragically killed in a construction accident in Long Island City, Queens. Mr. Lliguicota, at just 32-years-old, fell from the sixth floor of the building located at 45-18 Court Square while attempting to remove a ladder from a scaffold. 

Due to unsafe work environments, heartbreaking accidents like the one involving Mr. Lliguicota are far too commonplace in the construction context. Only days before, a construction worker was killed and a second was injured when an elevator collapsed at a construction site located at 20 Bruckner Boulevard in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. 

Both devastating accidents came on the heels of the 13th annual hardhat memorial service held on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. The memorial service, held annually for late April’s International Workers Memorial Day, served to honor, and remember the 16 construction workers who sadly died due to on-site construction accidents in 2020-2021. Held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, many attended the Mass, including New York Building and Construction Trades Council president, Gary LaBarbera, who spoke at the ceremony and called for the industry to continue its prioritization of safety on all sites. 

There is no doubt that construction is a dangerous line of work. However, construction accidents are preventable when proper safety measures are implemented and monitored continuously throughout the duration of a construction job. This is exactly what the New York Legislature and labor rights activists had in mind when formulating Section 240 of the New York Labor Law: The Scaffolding Law. 

The Scaffolding Law provides that all contractors, owners, and their agents furnish and erect for the purpose of labor “scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes and other devices…as to give proper protection to a person so employed.”  Simply put, if owners and contractors follow the law, construction workers can perform their tasks safely, especially those involving elevation or gravity-related risks. Further, tragedies like the one involving Mr. Lliguicota, can be prevented.

Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, PC represents construction workers in New York who have been gravely injured or killed in accidents identical to the recent tragedies described above. Our City’s construction workers are the life-blood New York. They not only deserve to be safe on the job, but they also deserve peace of mind knowing that substantial safety measures are in place, and are being followed, in order to prevent serious injury or death. 

As the Voice of the Injured, Raphaelson & Levine stands ready to fight for the rights of all workers injured on the job in our City. If you are injured in a construction accident in New York, or if you wish to learn more about your legal rights following a construction accident, visit our website, our social media, or call 212-268-3222 for a free consultation.

Attorney Advertising 22 NYCRR 1200.1 Requirement: “Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A Similar Outcome.”


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