Personal Injury

Worker at Library Construction Site Killed by Falling Rock

Worker on a wall Worker at Library Construction Site Killed by Falling RockA worker was killed at a construction site in Woburn, Massachusetts, when a large rock fell on top of him, The Boston Herald reports. Woburn is located northwest of Boston.

Midmorning on Tuesday, July 11, officers from the Woburn police department were called out to the construction site on Pleasant Street, where the Woburn Public Library is undergoing a $31 million renovation.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that the decedent, a man in his 30s, had been working alongside the foundation of the building when he was apparently struck by a piece of rock that had broken free,” the District Attorney’s office said in a statement. “The victim was pronounced dead on scene.”

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators are looking into the incident.

According to OSHA’s Department of Labor Statistics, one in five worker fatalities in 2015 were construction-related. The top 10 OSHA standard violations for this category in the 2015-2016 fiscal year were related to:

  1. Fall protection;
  2. Hazard communication standard;
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements;
  4. Respiratory protection;
  5. Control of hazardous energy;
  6. Powered industrial trucks;
  7. Ladders;
  8. Machinery and Machine Guarding;
  9. Electrical, wiring methods;
  10. Electrical systems design.

The worker, whose name has not been released, was an employee of Schnabel Foundation Co., who was contracted to work on the library’s foundation.

“At the time of the accident, Schnabel Foundation Co. was working on the underpinning of the library, and the deceased was working under their direction,” said a representative of W.L. French Excavating Corp., which hired the Schnabel company. “Crews from W.L. French were working on parking lot renovations when the accident occurred.”

According to OSHA, the Schnabel Foundation was cited with 10 OSHA violations across six states in the last eight years. One “serious” violation happened in Massachusetts in 2015 regarding a lack of employee safety training. The company was required to pay a $4,500 fine.