Second Construction Worker Dies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/10/04

Second Construction Worker Dies

Plant McIntosh Plant McIntosh

Tragedy has struck twice at an Effingham County construction site. This morning, Johhny Boyette of Bonafey, Florida, fell to his death on the job. That's the second time in less than two weeks that a construction worker has died at Plant McIntosh. WG Yates and Sons Construction has suspended all work at the site until it completes an investigation.

Officials aren't saying how Boyette died, but WTOC has learned the man basket he was in tipped over. Two weeks ago, the same thing happened to Joe Bethanie, who plunged 40 feet to his death. We spoke with WG Yates and Sons vice President Kenny Bush. He says he was shocked by the recent deaths.

"We are a company that prides ourselves in our safety record," he said. "We've gone 40 years without a work-related death. Now we have two in two weeks. We are taking this very seriously." That's why all work at Plant McIntosh is suspended until an investigation is complete.

Meddy Settles is part of Local 256, a union member who tried to get local workers jobs at Plant McIntosh when construction began last year. he's now questioning the safety record and wonders if workers are being properly trained. "Two deaths in two weeks, there has to be some problems with safety concerns on that job," he said. "If that's not the problem, they are not doing enough safety training on the job."

But according to Bush, all workers at their site are properly trained. "We have people with OSHA training," he said. "We go through safety orientation."

But Settles says there is no excuse for these two deaths. "A hundred years ago, it might have been a freak accident, but every man should be able to go to work and come home to his family safe and secure," he said.

Yates Construction says at this time its main concern is to take care of the family. They hope to have the investigation completed in the next few days.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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