The Occupational Safety & Health Reporter™ provides complete news coverage and documentation of federal and state occupational safety and health programs, standards, legislation, regulations,...
June 10 — A New York City construction company has been convicted of homicide in the April 2015 death of a worker in a trench collapse at a Manhattan excavation site, prosecutors announced June 10 ( People v. Harco Constr. Co., N.Y. Sup. Ct., No. 01971-2015, 6/10/16).
In a bench trial before Justice Kirke Bartley of the state Supreme Court for New York County, Harco Construction LLC was convicted on manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment charges for failing to address unsafe working conditions that allegedly led to the collapse.
The company, also known as H&H Builders Inc., was among four defendants charged in the case, which is one of series of criminal prosecutions pursued in the city for workplace deaths.
The defendants were accused of failing to heed repeated warnings over several months from a safety consultant about conditions at the site where a laborer, Carlos Moncayo, was crushed to death, including the morning of the collapse.
Charges remain pending against the other defendants, prosecutors said. Sentencing for Harco was set for July 13.
In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said: “Today’s guilty verdict should signal to the construction industry that managing a project from afar does not insulate a corporation or general contractor from criminal liability.”
He said Moncayo’s family had “endured days of grueling testimony about the horrific death of a loved one buried alive in an unsecured trench more than 13 feet deep.” The worker’s mother came from Ecuador for the trial at “great personal sacrifice,” he said, adding: “It is my sincere hope that today’s conviction inspires significant change in the construction industry, prompted by the kind of tragedy that can and must be prevented as New York experiences historic growth and expansion.”
Harco's defense attorney didn't respond June 10 to a request for comment.
In October 2015, Harco was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willful and serious safety violations carrying $280,000 in proposed penalties.
The announcement of the conviction came in the same week as the homicide indictment of another New York City construction contractor for his role in the April 2015 death of a worker who fell six stories from an unguarded building site ledge.
To contact the reporter on this story: John Herzfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)