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NY Worker Killed in 15-Foot Fall

Monday, February 4, 2013

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Authorities are investigating the death of a construction worker who fell 15 feet through a floor and hit his head on a steel girder at a building under construction in Queens, NY.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the New York City Department of Buildings are investigating the accident, which occurred Jan. 24.

A full stop-work order has been issued for the site, according to the NYC Department of Buildings database. Work at the site was previously stopped in 2012 after neighbors complained that the construction was “destabilizing their foundations,” according to the records.

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Officials say the 42-year-old construction worker was transported to a nearby hospital where he died.

The 42-year-old worker, whose name has not been released, fell from the first floor into the basement where he hit his head on a steel girder around 4 p.m., then suffered cardiac arrest at the scene, according to various sources.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

“His head was covered in blood,” Amile Zouten, who watched emergency responders perform CPR on the victim, told local reporters. “They tried to revive him. It’s sad.”

Contractor with OSHA Past

The site contractor, Astoria-based Centex Builders Inc., did not return a request for comment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Centex Builders in August 2011 for fall-protection safety hazards and two other serious workplace safety violations. The contractor paid $8,400 in fines in that case, according to OSHA records.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, OSHA said. The agency has a web page with detailed fall-protection information in English and Spanish.


Tagged categories: Fall protection; Fatalities; General contractors; Health and safety

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