Construction Worker Dies in Fall From NYU Building

By Janon Fisher and Gustavo Solis  on November 15, 2013 2:00pm  | Updated on November 15, 2013 3:27pm

 A construction worker was killed in a fall from a scaffolding at 19 University Place on Nov. 15, 2013.
A construction worker was killed in a fall from a scaffolding at 19 University Place on Nov. 15, 2013.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

MANHATTAN — A construction worker died Friday morning after falling about 70 feet from an unprotected area on a 6-story NYU building, officials said.

Jaime Sillart, 56, who fell onto the roof of the adjacent building about 11:30 a.m., was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he died, according to authorities.

"I'm pretty destroyed at the moment," a friend of the worker, who did not give his name, said.

The hoist area where the worker fell is supposed to have safety protections like guardrails, according to the Department of Buildings. Officials said he landed on the roof of 269 Green St.

Sillart, of Bergenfield, NJ, also did not have the proper training certification to work on a support scaffold, the DOB said.

A full stop work order was issued to the building Friday.

The worker, who delivered brick and concrete to masons at the jobsite, had only been with the company, D.P. Consulting and Construction Corporation, for three weeks, the a colleague said.

The fatal accident occurred at 19 University Place, where the school had contracted for facade repairs from June 25 to Oct. 1, according to the NYU website. The deadline was extended into December, a college spokesman said.

"We would never sacrifice safety to make an artificial deadline," university spokesman Phillip Lentz said. He said that the school shut down the site to check if the contractor was adhering to safety regulations.

"NYU prides itself on its excellent safety record and will cooperate with any government investigation of this tragic incident," Lentz said. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the worker's family."

A woman who answered the phone at the company Friday refused to comment.

The DOB issued several violations for Sillart's lacking proper certification, the lack of a guardrail, no fall protection system, loose planks and hoist equipment in disrepair, according to the agency.

An inspector from Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that the scaffolding was not defective. He said that safety harnesses are not required on the staircase.

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