UPDATE: Second man died at construction site, The Telegram has learned

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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A second man died at the Fortis Place construction site Thursday afternoon, The Telegram has learned.

A construction worker died of what is believed to be health-related causes, said Hugh Donnan, a spokesman for Service NL — the government department which oversees Occupational Health and Safety. The coroner has yet to determine the official cause of death, he said.

This is in addition to the 61-year-old construction worker who fell six storeys from the building shortly before 4 p.m. There were high winds and rain at the time. It appeared the man had fallen through a wooden barrier at the top of the building.

An RNC spokesman told The Telegram he’s not aware of any ongoing police investigation into the accident, and the file has been turned over to Occupational Health and Safety.

Donnan said a stop-work order has been issued for the site, located at the corner of Springdale and New Gower streets in St. John’s.

“Not because of any violation that we’re aware of, but so we can have a proper look at the site,” he explained. Two OHS officers attended the scene Thursday afternoon along with police and rescue personnel, he said.

“There’s not much more I can say,” he continued. “We don’t know at this point if all procedures were followed or if this is something that may end up in the courts.”

•••

Police have handed the case of a man who fell to his death on a construction site in St. John’s Thursday over to Occupational Health and Safety.

A 61-year-old construction worker fell six storeys from the Fortis Place building at the corner of Springdale and New Gower streets shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday. There were high winds and rain at the time.

It appeared the man had fallen through a wooden barrier at the top of the building.

An RNC spokesman told The Telegram he’s not aware of any ongoing police investigation into the accident, and the file has been turned over to Occupational Health and Safety.

Hugh Donnan, spokesman for Service NL — the government department which oversees Occupational Health and Safety — said a stop-work order has been issued for the site.

“Not because of any violation that we’re aware of, but so we can have a proper look at the site,” he explained. Two OHS officers attended the scene Thursday afternoon along with police and rescue personnel, he said.

“There’s not much more I can say,” he continued. “We don’t know at this point if all procedures were followed or if this is something that may end up in the courts.”

•••

Police investigators were still on the scene of an industrial accident in downtown St. John’s early Thursday evening, where one construction worker died.

It appears the worker fell six storeys (about 80 feet) from the top of the Fortis Place building, under construction at the corner of Springdale and New Gower Streets.

An ambulance had arrived at the scene, but left shortly afterwards.

Members of St. John’s Regional Fire Department were preparing to move the body, which was covered by a green tarp on the concrete floor at the bottom of the building. Six storeys up, a break in a wooden railing going around the edge of the building, was being examined by police investigators.

Other workers were huddled at the edge of the construction site.

St. John’s Regional Fire Department superintendent Don Byrne did not confirm the fatality to members of the media, but said there had been an industrial accident that is under investigation.

Later Thursday evening, the RNC issued a statement saying it was working with Occupational Health and Safety to determine the cause of the accident.

 

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Regional Fire Department, RNC

Geographic location: Fortis Place, Springdale

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Recent comments

  • Whaddaya At ?
    October 26, 2012 - 22:56

    When I worked at a local building supply store a few years ago, all workers were required to wear a harness if they were working at a height of more than 8 feet. My condolences to the family of the deceased, but I'm wondering why he was not wearing a safety harness while working at that height, approx. 60 feet. There's no way I'd work at that height with only a 2x4 to protect me from falling. A safety harness is anchored to an immovable object but a 2x4 is anchored to nothing.

  • fred squires
    October 26, 2012 - 21:23

    where was the site foreman or supervisor to watch out for any safety violations to protect his or her workers. even co-workers should have a heads up for each other on a day to day basis.its the law to be tethered to a safety harness especially in weather conditions like that, rules are in place by the WSIB in all of canada because of this sad but preventable death of this person. iam sorry for your loss.

  • Marg
    October 26, 2012 - 18:24

    With such high winds and heavy pelting rain yesterday, no one should have been up on scaffolding seven storeys up. Didn't anyone have the common sense to determine this? My utmost sympathy and prayers for both families, as well as their co-workers.

  • JD
    October 26, 2012 - 17:12

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families & co-workers of these 2 men. The photograph was taken by "Keith Gosse" with The Telegram...so shame on him for ever taking such a horrific picture to begin with...and then shame on The Telegram for allowing it to go public. What is this? Newfoundland paparazzi? It's not a joyous event, people are devastated by this tragedy. This is ridiculous.

  • See that
    October 26, 2012 - 15:05

    The length of the guard rail is concerning looks like its 12 feet or more with no uprights .. That's a long span without supports .. Usually the simplest of things that could of made a difference. Very long span indeed. Extremely sad RIP

  • A-B
    October 26, 2012 - 14:42

    My heart aches for the family and friends of both incidents. My boyfriend works on this job site as well. When he called and told me what happened, I couldn't believe it. I can't even imagine if it had to be someone else calling for me. Also, the picture is pretty disturbing and should be taken down out of respect to the family, and DEFFINATELY shouldn't have been the first thing they saw when the paper was delivered to their doorstep..

  • Leah
    October 26, 2012 - 14:24

    Oh my heavens above, a second death within hours, even though not accidental. The co-workers of these two men must be devastated. Deepest condolences and prayers to this family as well, and for their co-workers.

  • Wanda
    October 26, 2012 - 13:28

    Deepest condolences and prayers to the family and co-workers of this man. Donny Dooley, if you cannot say anything nice, or at least half sensible, in such tragic circumstances, don't say anything at all, please.

  • negligent
    October 26, 2012 - 10:31

    If there is a picture people will look but I agree with those who say they should not have published that photo.However having seen the picture of the 2 by 4 railing I agree with "concerned worker" that charges must be laid.To Donny Dooley-you are an idiot.

  • Leah
    October 26, 2012 - 10:19

    My heart is aching for the family. I am so very, very sorry, but I know that mere words are inadequate at such a tragic time. God bless you. Donny, would you really feel the same way as you posted if this man was a member of your family? Your comment is inappropriate at this particular time.

  • concered worker
    October 26, 2012 - 10:00

    I just don't understand how this could happen this day in age with the emphasis on safety and safety regulations. How can a piece of 2x4 hand nailed wooden rail with snow fencing be safe at 80 feet with rain and high winds? Just plain negligence if you ask me. It's always "good enough" until someone gets hurt. These multi million dollar companies can't spend the money/time to build and maintain proper railing to ensure safety because their too worried about finishing the job, and due to that one man will never get to finish that job... I hope to see criminal charges laid against the company, and an example set for ever other company. Some new laws and guidelines for safety and railing, in hope that we never see this happen again. Heart goes out to the man's family, friends , and co-workers. Rest in peace

  • Friend of Family
    October 26, 2012 - 09:52

    It saddens me that this is how the family became aware of the accident....in the media. Just for the media to GET THE STORY. Things of such devestaion shoud NOT BE ALLOWED in circuation untill the offical notification has been made by the RNC /RCMP

  • MET
    October 26, 2012 - 09:38

    My heart goes out to the greiving family as a result of this accident a foreman on this jobsite passed away about 2 hours later from a heart attack.

    • JUST WONDERING
      October 26, 2012 - 09:59

      To Met....Are you saying another person has died yesterday from the same job site? Sad day. Condolences to all grieving family members.

  • Donny Dooley
    October 26, 2012 - 09:24

    I actually like the picture. It tells the story. This is a news site not a funeral home site. If you're offended by it, don't look at it! Some people b'y!

    • Toolbar
      October 26, 2012 - 10:42

      No doubt - there's nothing offensive to anyone about this photo. Sorry that your family is suffering today, but this stark image will go a long way towards making things safer for workers. My condolences.

    • elizabing
      November 20, 2012 - 23:20

      I would like to know how you would feel if this was your father. this is my father lying under that tarp and this was certainly not how I would have like to have found out about my dad. this picture is disgusting!!! there is news and there is news, but it doesn't take a picture like this to get the point across!

  • Casandra
    October 26, 2012 - 08:56

    The Media will do anything for a story. The man has a family who are deeply grieving today, the last thing they need to see is that photo on the front page of the Telegram, have a little respect! My condolences to the family on the passing of this gentleman. RIP.

  • Oh dear
    October 26, 2012 - 08:29

    I agree with NEC....I mean really it is all bad enough that this poor man lost his life and his family is greiving but is it really necessary to post such pictures...a picture of the building is enough....I would like to ask the media if this was THEIR family how would they feel looking at such unreal pictures like this...SERIOUSLY MEDIA HAVE SOME COMPASSION!!!!!

  • Victim's daughter
    October 26, 2012 - 08:26

    That is my father lying under that tarp. Please have the decency to remove this picture. We aren't even able to view his body yet. Have some common sense!

    • DebraA
      October 26, 2012 - 10:15

      My heart goes out to you and your family. I agree, it's all painful enough without having to see visual images posted for viewing. I am happy that you had the strength to tell people who may have never felt what you are going through, to have the decency!

    • Concerned Reader
      October 26, 2012 - 19:57

      This is happening more and more frequent. Shame on the photographer for taking the picture and I pitty the indecency of the editor to allow such an image to be displayed. Seeing as ``Victim`s Daugher`` posted a request to remove the picture over 12 hours ago, during working hours I encourage offended parties to inform the Atlantic Press Council. Information can be found at: http://atlanticpresscouncil.wordpress.com/complaint-procedure/

  • T
    October 26, 2012 - 07:49

    I agree with NEC. This is somebody's loved one. This story could have been written without a picture being posted. Shame on The Telegram for posting it.

  • safety
    October 26, 2012 - 07:42

    my heart goes out to his family,friends, co-workers and all loved ones. I sure hope that the investigation will find the root cause, so as his family will not have unanswered questions. R.I.P...

  • NEC
    October 26, 2012 - 07:14

    Don't you think the picture of the accident site is very insenstive to the family. The person under that green tarp is someone's loved one. A little compassion goes a long way.