Worker Killed After Falling 24 Stories Down Elevator Shaft

A 25-year-old man working on an upscale hotel in Manhattan recently fell to his death down an elevator shaft in the unfinished building. The victim was reportedly installing elevator door frames when the car he was riding in stopped suddenly. A coworker in the car jumped to a landing, but when the victim attempted the same maneuver, he slipped and fell backward 24 stories. Rescue crews recovered him 20 minutes later and rushed him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This is not the first accident on the project, which centers on the Riu Hotel in Times Square. Earlier incidents included another worker who fell three stories, halting the project and resulting in the issuance of citations for lack of required railings. In May and September 2014, inspectors found additional conditions they deemed unsafe. Recent reports indicate that the elevator firm employing the worker lacks a license in New York City.

OSHA identifies common construction accidents

Falls like the one that took the 25-year-old worker’s life are considered to be among what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has deemed construction’s “Fatal Four.” According to OSHA, the leading causes of fatalities at construction sites — which account for one in five worker deaths each year — include falls, being struck by objects, electrocution and getting caught in or between objects. Of these, falls are the most deadly, causing more than one-third of deaths. OSHA estimates that eliminating just these accidents would save nearly 500 lives per year.

After a serious construction site accident, it may be necessary to seek workers’ compensation benefits or file a personal injury claim. To learn more about your options, consult the dedicated New York City attorneys at Barasch & McGarry. 

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