BOSTON (WHDH) - Suffolk Construction has paused work at all of its sites in Boston as federal officials probe the scene of a catwalk collapse in South Boston on Wednesday, as well as an incident involving a worker who fell at a building in the South End on Thursday.
The company is conducting a voluntary “safety stand-down” to review its sites through Friday, Suffolk officials said.
“We will also use this safety stand-down as an opportunity to reinforce jobsite safety awareness and provide our teams the opportunity to secure, evaluate, clean and organize their jobsites for the restart of work,” the company wrote in a statement. “In the event this evaluation requires more time for an individual job site, that site may remain closed until the review is complete and prepared to safely re-open.”
Suffolk is the general contractor in charge of the demolition of the 1898 Boston Edison Power Plant in South Boston, which is part of a 1.7 million square foot mixed retail, residential, and office complex. Officials said a catwalk collapsed on three workers during demolition and while two were freed quickly, one was trapped for three hours with his legs under piles of debris.
A day later, a crew member at one of the company’s construction sites in the South End was also hurt when he fell while working, according to Boston police.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said his office was investigating but he found no immediate evidence of criminal conduct. Federal investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are examining the site and they say it will take six months to complete their probe.
This is the second high-profile structure collapse in Boston in little more than a month. A collapse during demolition at the Government Center parking garage claimed the life of an engineer when 100 tons of debris crashed to the ground above the Haymarket MBTA station.
A South Boston resident expressed concern about damage at the site and said OSHA needs to protect workers.
“OSHA better get to the bottom of this or they all should be fired, to allow all this to happen,” resident Joe Cappuccio said. “Who’s looking out for the worker? Nobody!”
Suffolk Construction has taken on several big projects in the Boston area, including work on Encore Casino, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and current projects at Logan International Airport.
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