The city is suing to revoke the license of a contractor involved in the death of a construction worker who was killed by a falling stone at a Manhattan work site, the Daily News has learned.
The Buildings Department filed for Wlodzimierz Tomczak’s special rigger license to be revoked over claims Tomczak “did not take proper precautions” at a E. 50th St. façade restoration project where Nelson Salinas, 51, died.
Salinas of Ozone Park was working on scaffolding half way up a 14-story residential building in April when a coping stone was knocked loose by rigging used to support scaffolding, authorities said.
The dislodged stone struck Salinas in the head. He died at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
A DOB probe later found Tomczak failed to produce “multiple inspection records … related to the scaffold setup,” an agency official said.
Tomczak is the owner of the Jamaica, Queens-based Vlad Construction Ltd., city records show.
“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 buildings official said.
The move against Tomczak comes a week after the Buildings Department suspended the special rigger licenses of two contractors in connection with the June death of a construction worker in Harlem. That worker, Carlos Olmedo Lala, 44, died after plunging from the second level of scaffolding at a St. Nicholas Ave. job site.
In that case, the city suspended the licenses of Wayne Bellet of Bellet Construction and Mohammad Bhutta of Zain Contracting, alleging the two failed to secure the proper permits before their inferior work setting up the scaffolding. The agency is pushing for the revocation of those licenses as well.
Tomczak’s employees allegedly used a checklist they found on the internet to perform their inspections, according to the Buildings Department. Tomczak, the agency claims, didn’t even visit the job site himself to inspect the rigging.
“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.”
A woman who answered the phone at Tomczak’s Queens office referred The News to his attorney, James Devor, but warned, “He’s not going to talk to you."
Devor did not return calls.