The Real Deal New York

Worker falls to his death at 19-story UES condo project

30-year-old was working on site of Haskett & Co.'s 152 East 87th Street

Rendering of 152 East 87th Street (Credit: Ismael Leyva Architects via New York YIMBY)

A construction worker died Friday after falling down an elevator shaft at Gordon Haskett & Co.’s 19-story condominium project at 152 East 87th Street on the Upper East Side.

The man, whose name was not revealed by officials, worked for Noble Construction Company, DNAinfo reported. The 156,000-square-foot, Ismael Leyva-designed building, which will have 56 apartments, is under construction.

The 30-year-old was working on the third floor when he fell down the elevator shaft to the basement, a New York Police Department spokesperson told the publication. He suffered a head trauma and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was declared dead.

The Department of Buildings placed a stop-work order on the site, and is investigating the accident.

“His coworkers told me he was on the third floor, and he was wearing a harness but wasn’t hooked to a cable, and when he fell, he just went down,” Fabian Para, who works nearby, told the New York Post. “He was wearing a helmet. His coworkers seemed really sad and worried about his situation. They only knew he was unconscious, but didn’t know if he was dead or alive.”

Police confirmed the unhooked harness caused the accident, the newspaper reported. Noble Construction Group logged three violations in May, the Post reported, following a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at one of its sites in Flushing. It was fined $3,500 for not meeting standards for fall protection, according to online records reviewed by the paper.

In a joint statement, Noble Construction Group and the subcontractor Highbury Concrete said they are working closely with other parties to determine the cause of the accident and “will provide any assistance requested by investigators.”

Representatives for the developer and the architect could not be reached.

Last week, a 59-year-old construction worker fell to his death while working on part of the Domino Sugar redevelopment at 325 Kent Avenue.

In October, The Real Deal looked at how how contractors and developers attempt to balance worker safety and the pressure to finish construction on time and under budget.