KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City leaders are taking steps to protect construction workers after a man fell 14 stories to his death at a downtown building.
Jose Rodolfo Garcia Sanchez was working in the old AT&T building, now under renovation, when he fell down an elevator shaft and died.
Sanchez was one of several employees working at the job site.
“You make sure that people are protected,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “You make sure that people are safe, and you make sure that when you mess up as a contractor, as a company, as a profit here, that you make sure that you do right by the family, by the workers, that you come up with new safeguards there after.”
Leaders are holding New Horizons Enterprises LLC accountable.
“Sadly, a man from Indiana traveled here for a job with $1,000, a little over $1,000 a week,” said Manny Abarca, executive director of Fair Contracting Alliance and Jackson County legislator. “No benefits, no support for his family and himself.”
City leaders said Sanchez’s death could’ve been prevented.
“None of us knew him, but he represents some of the bad things that happen on job sites here in this area,” Kansas City Councilman Kevin O’Neil said.
Starting next month, the city is launching a new initiative that will place city workers on job sites to investigate the work atmosphere.
Leaders also had a list of demands for the contractors, including respect for Sanchez’s family so they don’t have to suffer during this time, a safe atmosphere and to make sure people are getting fair pay.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into a temp agency Sanchez was working for, Infinity Resources Enterprises, which was performing asbestos abatement work under contract with New Horizons LLC.
OSHA also opened an investigation with the building’s owner and developer, D.C.-based Bernstein Companies. The investigations can take up to 6 months.