Carlos Moncayo knew a thing or two about safety.
The 22-year-old Ecuadoran immigrant to New York City had scraped together $500 to get 26 hours of OSHA training in safe construction practices.
If only his employers had paid similar attention to workplace safety, Carlos would not have been buried alive, crushed to death by thousands of pounds of dirt.
The company Carlos worked for, a subcontractor, and two executives will face criminal charges following his death. It’s part of a recent uptick in prosecutions and large fines for safety violations. To prevent future tragedies, safety advocates say, it’s essential to hold employers accountable.
“You can’t put a price on a human life, and no amount of money can bring back a husband, a wife, a father or a mother,” said Jessica Martinez, Deputy Director of National COSH. “But seven-figure fines and indictments which can result in real prison time will get the attention of corporate executives.”
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