Worker Dies Falling Down Elevator Shaft On Job Site With Unsafe Work Conditions

By: Kalra Law FirmYesterday January 23rd at around 8:50am, a 33-year-old worker, who was installing an elevator car at 111 East 24th Street, fell nine stories to the bottom of the shaft and was fatally injured. EMS arrived at the construction site and pronounced him dead.

The building, intended to become a boutique hotel designed by architect Gene Kaufman, was to house 130 hotel rooms according to the building plans. However, construction was far from safe with some 17 complaints to New York City's Department of Buildings just in the past year alone.

Notably, someone filed a complaint in regards to workers not wearing safety equipment last April, and in March, there were complaints that debris from the site have been flying off the building, posing a danger to pedestrians and motorists alike. At the time of the incident, these complaints were closed.

The worker, an elevator technician employed by U-Tek Elevator, wasn't attached to a safety line at the time of the fall. The construction site was reported to be non-union.

In a statement, New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera states that she was "deeply saddened" by the incident and offered "sincerest condolences to his loved ones during this terrible tragedy." The councilwoman will be working with FDNY, OSHA, DOB, and all relevant agencies to determine the cause of the incident.

As the worker's body was removed from the scene, multiple people were crying. Among them were other workers at the job site.

"No one's telling us anything right now. We're just concerned for the worker," a Local 1 Elevator Constructors foreman told New York Daily News.

This incident marks the first construction accident death in 2018. Last year, there were 12 deaths in the construction industry.

In response to the tragedy, the Buildings Department issued a full stop order for the construction site and is expected to issue violations after the investigation is complete.

The worker's employer U-Tek Elevator, Inc, the building's general contractor Trinity Builders, and the building owner SCIPM East 24 LLC did not immediately comment on the incident.

Although not all details have been disclosed to the public, the preliminary information points to the disturbing conclusion that this was not a freak accident - meaning, the death was most likely preventable. The worker was not wearing fall protection safety equipment - protection that might've prevented the fall and his untimely death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires fall protection for workers when they are working from heights of 6 feet or higher.

A spokesperson from New York City's Local One Elevator Constructors commented, "He worked for U-Tek Elevator, so it's their responsibility to provide the employee with training and equipment - that's an OSHA regulation. It's a shame that another person went to work today and is not going home to see his family."

We offer our deepest condolences to the worker's family and close friends.

Unfortunately, construction accidents are on the rise in New York. Laborers who are hurt on the job need to protect themselves legally when an accident arises. If you or your loved one was harmed in a construction accident, there are certain laws in New York that protect workers when employers and contractors are negligent in providing on-the-job protection.

If you or a family member has been injured or harmed due to a fall at a construction site you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting victims of falls the compensation they deserve through thorough investigations of all forms of evidence including inspections reports. Call the trusted New York City and Queens construction accident lawyers at Kalra Law Firm for a free initial consultation at (718) 897-2211.

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