NYC Contractor Charged with Murder in Death of Worker
A PowerPak – Power Minute (PPPM) Article
In 2015 construction worker Fernando Vanegaz (age 19) was killed on-site in Brooklyn. It was late morning when a wall collapsed, causing severe trauma to his head, among other injuries. Two other workers were also injured.
According to ABC 7 in New York, new charges are being brought against the company that employed the victim. The defendants have been identified as Michael Weiss (age 47) and his companies: RSBY NY Builders Inc. and Park Ave Builders Inc.
According to Prosecutors, Weiss’ employees were on-site in Bedford-Stuyvesant on September, 3rd, 2015, when Weiss ordered several workers to excavate a rear lot. The area had not been approved by the required channels, despite OSHA regulations requiring him to do so.
If OSHA compliance were not reason enough, authorities say Weiss was made aware of the unsafe working conditions but refused his employees’ requests for a safer environment.
The Meat & Potatoes:
At approximately 11:30 am, the wall of the adjacent building collapsed, killing one and hurting two others.
The charges Weiss is facing include:
- Second-degree manslaughter
- criminally-negligent homicide
- second-degree reckless endangerment
- third-degree assault
- third-degree grand larceny
- and a slew of other related charges
Due in court on August 9th, Weiss faces up to 15 years in prison, should he be convicted of second-degree manslaughter.
Acting DA Eric Gonzalez is on record saying,
“Construction site deaths such as [this one] are becoming all too common as builders ignore safety protocols and hire untrained workers to maximize profits.”
The Bottom Line:
Are you doing all you can to protect your workers?
Construction workers, do you feel safe on the job?
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