April 26, 2018 marked an important milestone date. That date, as reported by the New York Daily News, was the 10th anniversary of the first Memorial Mass for Deceased Construction Workers in New York City. Two days later, on April 28, the 2018 “Hardhat Mass” was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The annual event serves many useful purposes. It gives survivors the chance to mourn those lost to construction accidents. It also, though, provides a platform to shine a light on the extent of the problem of construction safety in New York City. The number of hardhats and roses laid out each year at the mass is a reminder that more is needed to ensure the safety of construction workers. If you have been injured in a construction accident, or if a loved one has been injured or killed, it is important to take action swiftly. To learn more about your legal rights and options, talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney right away.
At the annual hardhat mass, chairs are staged in the cathedral’s upper sanctuary. In those chairs, one engraved hardhat and one rose is left for each of the construction workers who have died in the city in the previous year. At the 2018 mass, 19 such hardhats and roses were placed in chairs. Since the tradition began, a total of 166 such memorials have been laid out.
As Fr. Brian Jordan, who presided over the mass and authored the article for the Daily News, correctly pointed out, “Construction workers have one of the highest death and injury rates in the private sector throughout the entire United States. Yet the safety crisis they face rarely gets much attention.”
One of the reasons why the problems with safety at construction sites receive relatively little attention is that the victims are too often easy to overlook. As Jordan pointed out, many construction workers are immigrants. This alone can present many problems for injured workers. An injured immigrant worker may be uneducated or, alternatively, may not speak English fluently and may not know what to do in a place where the infrastructure, both governmental and legal, can be particularly challenging for non-English speakers.
Another problem for many construction workers, both immigrant and non-immigrant, is that they tend to be lower income people. That lower socio-economic status may make them intimidated by the thought of retaining a lawyer to help them enforce their rights and obtain the compensation they need, since they fear that they simply cannot afford legal counsel.
Finally, some immigrant construction workers may be undocumented and may stay in the shadows, even after they’ve suffered an injury at work due to inadequate safety protections, since they fear the consequences. They might be concerned that their status will prevent them from receiving compensation or that their coming forward could lead to deportation.
The key, for all of these groups, is to understand that there is help out there and that help is far more attainable than you might think. Don’t simply assume that your situation is hopeless and that effective representation (along with much-needed compensation) is outside your reach. If you’ve been hurt at a construction job or lost a loved one to a construction injury, talk to the skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience giving our clients strong representation and personalized attention to meet their unique needs.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.
More Blog Posts:
You Can Win Your New York Construction Accident Lawsuit Even if Your Immigration Status is Undocumented, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 13 de Abril de 2018
What is a ‘De Facto General Contractor’ and What Can It Mean in Your New York Construction Injury Case?, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 9 de Abril de 2018