Construction workers hold Mass for dead

April 28, 2008 1:44:27 PM PDT
Construction workers killed on the job are being remembered at St. Patrick's Cathedral as New York City sharpens its focus on the dangers of their work.The Mass is being held in memory of more than two dozen workers killed in the past year. Six of them died when a crane toppled in midtown Manhattan last month, also killing a Florida tourist.

Before the Mass, more than 1,000 workers in hardhats gathered as bagpipes were played outside the Fifth Avenue cathedral.

Construction supervisor Ralph DiDonato, says he's had to go to three funerals in a single week. As he puts it: "Construction workers are the tightest crew when it comes for caring for people."

Workers Memorial Day is held annually to commemorate the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. But city construction workers have never held a Mass of their own before.

The city has ordered a review of high-risk construction practices; the buildings commissioner resigned last week.