Four injured construction workers were sent to Bellevue hospital on Tuesday after a partial collapse in NYC’s Midtown. The collapse occurred as a result of demolition work that is being done near the Grand Central terminal to make way for a new 65-story tower, which will be called One Vanderbilt. The proposed building would span the block intersection of Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues (by East 42nd and East 43rd streets). The demolition workers inside 331 Madison Avenue were dismantling a large chandelier from the ceiling, using a 4-foot marble banister as support. The banister gave way, sending the workers into a free fall with the debris from the marble banister and the chandelier crashing down along with them. The owner of the building said that the workers and the chandelier fell about 15 feet.
It is unclear if the chandelier landed on any of the workers. FDNY Battalion Chief Tom Maera says that the demolition debris had been cleared from the injured construction workers before they arrived.
The partial collapse occurred around 10am on Tuesday, April 7. At the time of the incident, a bartender in the nearby pub heard the commotion and followed the rush to the scene of the accident. He described to the Wall Street Journal that the four injured construction workers were “lying there. [There were] just four guys, lying in the lobby with EMS workers standing around them. They were trying to get them on stretchers. They were moving, so that was good.”
An anonymous fellow laborer said one of the victims were “bleeding from the mouth.”
The realty company, SL Green Realty, says there was a licensed safety manager at the building at the time of the partial collapse.
While the FDNY says the building was structurally sound, a full stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings following the collapse. Three OSHA violations were issued after the incident, including one for failing to provide adequate fall safety measures to protect workers.
These are not the first OSHA violations given to the construction companies involved in this project. Both have failed to provide adequate protection for their workers specifically in regards to fall safety in the past.
Tishman Construction has been cited for fall safety protocol breaches in 2012, and paid a $7,000 fine. Similarly, Waldorf Demolition was cited in 2010 and paid $5,000. These OSHA violations are considered serious, as falls make up a large percentage of construction accidents.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff and their construction accident attorneys has represented the victims of hazardous construction sites for decades. Many laborers who fall victim to OSHA violations, unsafe conditions, and the everyday hazards of working in construction are unaware of their rights and are never compensated for serious injuries that may result as part of the job.
If you were hurt at a construction site, either while working as a laborer or as a pedestrian, call our offices at (212) 962-1020 for a free consultation about your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to.