City moves to revoke license of contractor it blames for construction worker’s death

Worker died in April after a coping stone hit him in the head

Sep.September 16, 2019 06:25 PM
311 East 50th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

311 East 50th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The city wants to take away the license of a contractor who it alleges was responsible for the death of a construction worker at a rental building in Turtle Bay earlier this year.

The Department of Buildings announced on Monday it has sued to take away the special rigger license of contractor Wlodzimierz Tomczak, whose negligence the agency maintains caused the death of a construction worker on April 8 at 311 East 50th Street.

The worker was repairing masonry on a scaffold at the 14-story rental building when a falling coping stone hit him in the head and killed him. Kenneth Rotner’s Great Bay Building Company owns the property and was granted a DOB permit in 2018 for $48,000 worth of exterior repairs.

The coping stone was being used as an anchor point for a set of C-hook devices that affixed the scaffold to the building, and investigators from the DOB are accusing Tomczak of failing to make sure that the C-hook and scaffold were installed and maintained properly.

Tomczak did not provide the DOB with multiple inspection records related to the fatal accident during its investigation, and he did not design and inspect the installation of the suspended scaffold himself like he was supposed to but rather allowed his workers to do this job, which they did incorrectly, the agency maintains. The workers also inspected the scaffold themselves using a checklist they found online, and Tomczak did not visit the construction site to inspect the rigging equipment setup before work started, according to the DOB.

Tomczak could not be reached for comment.

It’s the second such move the DOB has made this month. The agency also suspended the licenses of two construction bosses who it claims contributed to the death of a worker in June at a job site in Hamilton Heights.

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