Two ironworkers died at a work site in New York after falling 7 storieson Tuesday, February 8, 2011. The construction workers died after falling down an elevator shaft that lacked proper safety measures at 150 West 83rdStreet in the Upper West Side. They were working at the top of the elevator shaft at around 10:30 a.m. when they fell 65 feet onto a scaffold below.
One construction worker, 49 years-old, immediately went into cardiac arrest and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital where he died. The other construction worker, 51 years-old was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he also died.
The building is being converted from a parking garage to a community center for the Redeemer Presbyterian Church. According to the New York Daily News, an extra floor is being added in the renovation and the accident occurred as the men were extending an internal elevator shaft.
New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) inspectors said the men were part of a four man crew installing steel beams in the shaft when one of beams shifted. The two men had nothing to hold on to and plummeted to the ground. The DOB commissioner said when the beam rotated, there was no fall protection and they fell. He also said the elevator shaft lacked required safety features such as a safety net or harnesses.
The DOB issued a stop work order and numerous violations. The building contractor, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., said it would fully cooperate with the investigation. New York construction accident attorneys are waiting for more information to be made available.