The New York City Buildings Commissioner said a 59-year-old construction worker's recent Times Square death was "completely preventable."
The Sunset Park resident was removing a portion of steel decking from its slab at Broadway, near its intersection with W. 49th St. The accident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. The hardhat died after falling 18 feet from an I-beam almost at the second floor level, according to city officials.
He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai West.
Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler stated, "There should have been tie offs with his personal protection equipment, which he was wearing." The official hypothesized that the worker might have been evaluating whether the slab could be safely lowered down from that height.
The DoB issued a "Stop Work" order, stapling it to the entrance of the structure even as the Buildings Commissioner was being interviewed by reporters. He added that the the job would be shut down "for some time" in order to get the site "in a lot safer condition ... We have to get the message out to these contractors that this building is not worth anybody's life," he said.
Meanwhile, outside of City Hall, construction workers came together in solidarity in a rally over unsafe construction sites.
Chandler intends to increase the number of safety inspections throughout the five boroughs. The DoB is looking into whether or not the site of the fatality — 1604 Broadway — employed a construction superintendent.
The deceased man emigrated from the Dominican Republic, said a neighbor who lived in his building.
If you are a New York City construction worker who was hurt on the job, it's important to understand that you have legal options to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Source: New York Daily News, "Construction worker, 59, killed in 'completely preventable' plunge at Times Square site," Molly Crane-Newman, et al, April 12, 2017