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Worker Killed on Luxury Hotel Project

Friday, May 8, 2015

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NEW YORK CITY—Authorities are investigating the death of a construction worker who suffered a 24-story fall in an unfinished elevator shaft on a luxury hotel project in Manhattan.

New York's news media have reported previous problems on the $106 million Hotel Riu - Times Square project where Christian Ginesi, 25, of Jersey City, NJ, was killed Tuesday (May 5).

Ginesi worked for G-Tech Associates of Linden, NJ. The company is the North American distributor for South Korea-based HM Tec Elevator Inc.


Construction on the Hotel Riu was captured by The Rinaldi Group's earthcam on Thursday (May 7). A stop-work order was issued after Tuesday's fatal accident.

G-Tech Associates owner Dominick Glenn and son Brock Glenn did not respond Thursday (May 7) to a request for comment or more information.

3 Hotels, 3 Deaths

Ginesi was the second Jersey City worker killed on a Manhattan hotel project in less than two weeks and the third since September.

Subcontractor Trevor Loftus perished April 24 when he was pinned by a crane; Rodolfo Vasquez-Galian, 27, was killed Sept. 24 by a slab of falling concrete.

The site of the future 30-story hotel has been the subject of widely reported complaints to the city's Department of Buildings.


Christian Ginesi was the second Jersey City construction worker killed on a Manhattan hotel project in less than two weeks. Trevor Loftus (pictured) perished in a crane accident at another hotel site April 24.

In July 2013, the Riu Plaza site was shut down briefly when a worker fell from the fifth to the second floor during demolition, the New York Post reported. That report and others were based on Department of Building records, which did not indicate the victim's injuries.

Complaints, Citations

The Post said other complaints had alleged after-hours work at the hotel, which is being built by the Rinaldi Group. Other inspections, in May and September 2014, found insufficiently supported scaffolding and a worker without safety training certification.

The New York Times, the Post and the New York Daily News all reported citations against contractor Anthony Rinaldi alleging "unsafe work conditions" that included lack of guard railings around floor openings.

Rinaldi has since defaulted on two violations and $16,000 in fines, according to the reports.

RiuHotel HotelRiu
The Hotel Riu - Times Square project has been the subject of previous complaints and Department of Building citations, as well as the site of one three-story fall. Multiple reports say developer/contractor Rinaldi has defaulted on two violations and $16,000 in fines related to the project. Rinaldi bills the "high-profile" project as the first $100-plus million "non-union construction project in New York City history."

The Rinaldi website bills the "high-profile" project as the first $100-plus million "non-union construction project in New York City history."

The Fall

Reports said Ginesi had been installing elevator doors with a partner about 12:40 p.m. when the car in which they were working "suddenly stalled five feet above the 24th-floor landing," the New York Daily News reported.

The co-worker was able to jump to the landing, but Ginesi lost his footing and fell backward down the shaft, the report said.

Emergency crews pulled Ginesi from the bottom of the shaft in the basement about 20 minutes later, but he died shortly before 1:30 p.m. at Bellevue Hospital, police told reporters.

HM Tec Elevator Inc.

The victim worked for G-Tech Associates Inc. of Linden, NJ. The New Jersey company is the North American distributor for South Korea-base HM Tec Elevator Inc.

The city issued an immediate stop-work order at the site.

2nd Elevator Fatality

Also Tuesday, a worker for an asbestos company was killed in a fall down an elevator shaft at a former hospital in Newark, NJ.

Officials are still investigating the death of James Mahoney, 51, of Absecon, who perished about 2 p.m. Tuesday in a fall from the second floor.

Essex County Seriff Armando Fontoura told news outlets that Mahoney and his wife worked for Tricon Enterprises Inc. The company had a contract to demolish the former hsopital, which closed in 1997, to make way for a new vo-tech high school set to open in 2018.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Commercial Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fall protection; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Hotels; North America; OSHA

Comment from Joseph Gilman, (5/8/2015, 1:51 PM)

The key words in this whole article........."Non-Union".

Comment from Mike McCloud, (5/11/2015, 5:10 AM)

Wow Joseph, you're kidding, right?

Comment from Rodney White, (5/11/2015, 8:18 AM)

....So, carrying a union card prevents mistakes? Gotta get me one of those....

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