Police are investigating what could have caused 25 year-old construction worker, Chris Gisci to fall 24 stories down an elevator shaft to his death Tuesday afternoon. According to the NY Times, Gisci was working on the 24th floor of the Riu Plaza Times Square at 301 West 46th Street, when he fell down the elevator shaft around 12:30 p.m. His body was found in the building’s basement. Gisci, of Jersey City, was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where medical staff pronounced him dead around 2 p.m.
The tragic death of Chris Gisci sheds light on the fact that there had been past safety concerns at this site. In July 2013, work on the 30-story, 300,000-square-foot hotel was ordered stopped after a complaint about an unsafe work environment. An inspection discovered a number of unsafe conditions, including a failure to install rails around floor openings. More violations were found at the site in May and September last year.
According to OSHA, the Construction fatal four are the most common work related deaths for workers. In 2013, out of 4101 worker fatalities in private industry, 828 or 20.2% were in construction. This means one in five worker deaths in 2013 were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (57.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2013, according to BLS reports.
Falls — 302 out of 828 total deaths in construction in 2013 (36.5%)
Struck by Object — 84 (10.1%)
Electrocutions — 71 (8.6%)
Caught-in/between — 21 (2.5%)
If we could eliminate the Fatal Four that would save 478 workers’ lives in America every year.