Friday, January 25, 2013

Construction Worker Killed in Horrifying Accident in Queens

In the second construction accident to take place in Queens in as many days, a construction worker erecting an Astoria apartment building in bone-chilling 12-degree temperatures, died last Thursday, after he fell through the floor and struck his head on a steel girder. On Wednesday, a hardhat working on the new NYPD academy in College Point fell 12 feet down an elevator shaft, sustaining serious injuries.

The 42-year-old worker was braving bone-chilling 12-degree temperatures on the site at Broadway and 45th Street around 4 p.m. when he fell through the hole in the first floor, plummeting 15-feet to the basement below, officials said.

“A steel girder hit him on the head,” said one of the two surviving workers. Responding emergency crews rushed the victim to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and pronounced dead.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into the accident at 45-11 Broadway, and the Department of Buildings has issued a stop-work order during the ongoing investigation at the Astoria site.

Work at the jobsite, being developed by Centex Builders, was stopped last March when neighbors complained construction was destabilizing their foundations and the excavation was causing their houses to sink.

This is the third construction accident to occur to Queens this month, and he second accident in as many days.

Crane Collapse in Long Island City

On January 9, a crane collapsed at 46th Avenue and Center Boulevard on the Long Island City, where new condominiums are being built on the waterfront. A crane operator and a contractor did not inspect equipment, failed to take proper precautions and ran the rig unsafely before it collapsed while building an apartment tower and injured seven construction workers, Buildings Department officials said. No one died in the incident. [see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Jan 10, 2013]

Crane operator Paul Geer and contractor Cross Country Construction have each been cited with five violations stemming from the collapse, which occurred as the crane tried to lift more than double its capacity. Geer and the company each face at least $64,000 in fines; the developer and a site safety manager also were cited with a violation apiece.

NYPD Police Academy

In another incident, a construction worker at the Police Academy site in Queens suffered serious injuries when he fell 12 feet down one of building’s elevator shafts. First responders were called to the construction site at College Point Blvd. and 31st Avenue around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. [see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Mar 5, 2012]

Members of the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit managed to get the injured construction worker into a rescue basket and pull him out of the shaft within a few minutes. The construction worker was taken to New York Hospital Queens for treatment. It was unclear just how the man fell into the shaft.

The new police academy is slated to open later this year.