Construction worker dies at Upper West Side building

Unidentified 36-year-old man fell while installing netting at 263 West End Ave.

263 West End Avenue (Google Maps)
263 West End Avenue (Google Maps)

A construction worker died Monday after falling from an Upper West Side building.

The incident occurred late Monday morning at 263 West End Avenue, Gothamist reported. A preliminary investigation by the Department of Buildings found the 36-year-old worker, who has not been publicly identified, was installing netting around a supported scaffold on the 15th floor when he fell to a sidewalk shed below.

The DOB issued a full stop work order at the site, which is owned by Riverside Towers Corporation. A spokesperson for the agency told the outlet there are active work permits at the 23-story building for facade repair and the supported scaffold.

Rennon Construction employed the worker and J & S Waterproofing is the general contractor at the site; neither commented on the incident.

The death was the industry’s second this month. In early November, 27-year-old Raul Tenelema Puli of Queens was installing an i-beam for a sidewalk shed in front of Rabsky Group’s 625 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn when he and the beam fell 20 feet to the ground. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

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Two construction deaths in a single month would account for a quarter of industry fatalities in each of the past couple of years. In 2020, there were eight construction-related fatalities across the city, according to a DOB report. Last year, there were nine.

Falls were the leading cause of construction incidents and fatalities last year, accounting for seven of the nine deaths. After a number of construction-related worker falls at the start of last year, officials launched a “zero-tolerance enforcement strategy,” a three-month probe of unsafe conditions resulting in 1,500 stop-work orders being issued across the five boroughs.

In June, the state legislature passed Carlos’ Law, which would raise the minimum fines for companies found criminally liable for a construction worker’s death. The bill is still sitting on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk, where it is being battled by the New York Building Trades Employers Association.

— Holden Walter-Warner