A 21-year-old construction worker fell nearly 80 feet to his death this morning. It happened at Plant McIntosh in the New Ebenezer community in Effingham County. WTOC was on the scene shortly after the accident, where worker Ryan Mackenzie or Newport, Maine, fell from the top of a building.
This site was sought after by local construction workers who wanted to get in on the job, but now after three deaths, they are thinking twice about wanting to work for this company. For the third time in two months, employees at the construction site left work early.
"It was almost unheard of," said Meddy Settles of Carpenters Local 256. "I asked the guy twice, 'Are you sure?'"
The site shut down and an investigation is taking place. Yates Construction, which is running the project, says it's been a traumatic experience. But now other workers are thinking twice about this company.
Local workers like Settles at one point were fighting to get a job on this site, but Yates told them no. "Their excuse was we weren't trained enough, well I thought about that thing and today when I heard about the third death, I thought how trained do you have to be?" Settles said. "Cause they don't care about training."
But Yates says otherwise. A spokesman tells WTOC they held an onsite training session about fall prevention just two hours before the latest accident. And they now have 100 onsite managers as well.
But Settles says after three deaths, it may not be training but a lack of caring. "When that young man went in that body bag there's no training, there," he said. "It's all about profit. They don't care about workers and just get this thing done, cause they don't want to pay the penalties."
The accident is being investigated by a number of agencies. There is no word on when construction will start up again.