Worker killed in accident at Lendlease jobsite in New York City

Dive Brief:

  • A 46-year-old worker died Monday morning on a Lendlease jobsite in New York City, when a large part of an excavator arm fell on him, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.
  • Emergency responders found the worker, whom the New York City Police Department identified as Pape Khoule of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and pronounced him dead on the scene of the 1 Java Street jobsite in Brooklyn. The DOB estimated the piece of machinery that fell on him weighed roughly 2,000 pounds.
  • “We are saddened to confirm a fatal construction accident occurred at the 1 Java St. jobsite in Brooklyn,” Tom Reller, head of Lendlease communications for the Americas said in a statement shared with Construction Dive. “We extend our deepest condolences to the individual’s loved ones. At this time, we are in the process of investigating the incident in full coordination with appropriate authorities.”

Dive Insight:

The DOB’s preliminary investigation has discovered workers used the excavator to transport pipes from one side of the jobsite to the other. While one worker used straps to secure pipe posts to the excavator, a lifting attachment failed. The DOB issued a full stop work order on the project.

The DOB and OSHA — which does not comment on ongoing investigations — are looking into whether those in charge of the jobsite had instituted proper safeguards for worker safety. The NYPD told Construction Dive it suspects no criminality at this time.

“Yesterday morning a construction worker tragically lost his life in Brooklyn,” DOB Commissioner Eric Ulrich said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than keeping New Yorkers safe, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect the public, including members of the construction industry.”

Lendlease is building and developing the 1 Java Street mixed-use project in Brooklyn, which is expected to finish in 2026. The 728,000-square-foot property will include over 800 residential units. 

Khoule’s death is the fifth construction-related fatality in New York City this year, according to the DOB. At this time last year, seven construction workers had died on the job.

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