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Harness of Worker Killed at 9th Ave. Work Site Wasn't Clipped In, City Says

By Maya Rajamani | September 26, 2017 9:16am
 One Manhattan West, where an electrician fell to his death.
One Manhattan West, where an electrician fell to his death.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

HELL’S KITCHEN — The electricians who fell from a lift at a Ninth Avenue construction site last week — killing one one of them — were wearing safety harnesses that were not attached to anything, officials said.

The two 45-year-old workers were being lowered to the ground in a bucket lift at Brookfield Properties' One Manhattan West development, at Ninth Avenue near West 33rd Street, around 2 p.m. on Thursday when the lift struck an upright pole, throwing them to the ground, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Buildings said.

One of the men, Joseph Pacheco, was killed in the fall. The second man was taken to Bellevue Hospital and was expected to survive.

Both of the men worked for E-J Electric, the subcontractor for the site’s general contractor and construction manager Tishman Construction, the DOB spokesman said.

Neither of their safety harnesses were clipped in at the time of the incident, he added.

On Thursday, the Buildings Department issued a full stop work order and a violation at the site for a “failure to safeguard the site,” the spokesman said.

The agency partially lifted the order the next day so workers could carry out emergency measures to make the site safe, but no other work had been allowed there as of Monday afternoon, he said.

Pacheco’s brother last week told the Daily News the electrician felt safety at the site was lacking. A neighbor of the man who was injured, meanwhile, told the outlet he “broke a lot of bones.”

Pacheco’s death was the second construction-related fatality to take place at One Manhattan West in less than four months.

E-J Electric’s director of risk management and compliance and a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. 

A spokesman for Tishman Construction deferred to the statement he provided last week, saying the company was "actively cooperating with all relevant agencies to investigate the matter."