Scaffold at Milstein tower didn’t have guardrails when worker fell to his death: Department of Buildings

Fatality occurred at 335 Madison Avenue

TRD New York /
May.May 20, 2019 03:45 PM
335 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

335 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

A construction worker died on Saturday after falling from an unguarded scaffold at Milstein Properties’ 335 Madison Avenue.

Giuseppe Pagano, 49, of Queens, was cleaning debris on a scaffold on the fifth floor when he fell through a part of the structure that didn’t have guardrails, according to the city’s Department of Buildings and New York Police Department. He fell 30 feet to the second floor and was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, NBC first reported.

The DOB issued a full stop worker order and intends to file violations, though the agency’s investigation remains ongoing. A DOB representative indicated that guardrails were required at the construction site.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of a construction worker at 335 Madison on Saturday,” Milstein said in a statement. “We take site safety extremely seriously and will be working with [the project’s] construction manager and the city on a thorough and detailed review of this incident.”

The site’s construction manager, Sciame Construction, said in a statement that Pagano was a “long-time, beloved employee.”

“Everyone at Sciame is devastated by this tragic accident and extend our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues,” the company said in a statement. “We are working closely with the city on a full investigation and to ensure that every protocol is in place to keep our construction workers and worksites safe.”

A representative for the project indicated that a subcontractor might have removed a section of guardrail on a work floor where an interior curtain wall system was being installed.

The office building is undergoing a $100 million renovation, and last last year, Facebook inked a lease for 40,000-square-foot lease in the tower. It wasn’t immediately clear if the construction was being done with all or a mix of union and nonunion labor, but records indicate Pagano was a member of a labor union.

The city has seen a steady stream of construction deaths in recent years, recording 18 last year. In April, three construction workers were killed on the job in a single week. In response, the DOB announced that was sending more than 90 inspectors out to some 5,000 sites to ensure safety compliance.

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