City Revokes Contractors License After Construction Worker’s Death

The Department of Buildings (DOB) is suing to revoke the license of a contractor allegedly responsible for the death of a construction worker earlier this year in Turtle Bay. According to The New York Daily News, Nelson Salinas was working on scaffolding halfway up a 14-story residential building when a coping stone was knocked loose by rigging used to support the scaffolding. The stone hit Salinas in the head and he was rushed to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center where he died from the injuries

After a full investigation, the DOB says the fault lies with Wlodzimierz Tomczak and is now attempting to revoke his special rigger license over the incident. According to the DOB, Tomczak “did not take proper precautions” and could not produce “multiple inspection records… related to the scaffold setup.” 

According to the DOB, Tomczak did not even visit the construction site in Manhattan once. Instead, he delegated the responsibilities to his employees who used a checklist they found on the internet to perform their own ad-hoc safety inspections. “Rather than properly designing and inspecting the installation of the suspended scaffold himself, as was required of him as the licensed special rigger, the respondent allowed his employees to determine the setup of the scaffold, which they completed improperly and in an unsafe manner,” the building official told The Daily News

Earlier this year, the DOB suspended the licenses of Wayne Bellet and Mohammad Bhutta after Carlos Olmedo Lala died after plunging from the second level of scaffolding at a Brooklyn construction site. Bellet and Bhutta allegedly failed to secure proper permits before creating a makeshift and structurally inferior scaffolding setup. “Licensees must closely adhere to all rules and regulations for the safety of all New Yorkers,” the DOB official said. “Cutting corners, ignoring rules and exercising bad judgment can lead to catastrophe.”

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