Philly Construction Workers Injured

Feb. 11, 2000
A wooden platform at a construction site in Philadelphia collapsed yesterday, injuring eight workers.

A wooden platform at a construction site in Philadelphia collapsed yesterday, injuring eight people, some of whom were briefly trapped under a pile of wood, steel rods and tons of wet concrete.

One worker was in critical condition and two others in very serious condition following the 8:30 a.m. accident at the Regional Performing Arts Center construction site, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Executive Fire Chief Henry Dolberry said it appeared a platform gave way, sending the men and debris into the wet concrete being poured to build a ramp for an underground parking garage. It was unclear how far they fell.

"One man I heard fell 40 feet, because you have the structure above the hole, several floors of steel, plus the pit," said fire Capt. Armand Gersbach. "It's lucky no one was killed."

He described the injuries as "broken back, broken legs, that type of injury." At least five men were briefly trapped in the debris before they could be rescued by firefighters.

"I saw everyone running over when it fell," said worker Paul Henkel. "Everything fell right on top of the guys. Some of them were buried pretty deep under the concrete."

Two hours after the accident, firefighters could still be seen combing the debris.

"The construction manager stated that all his people are accounted for, but we're not taking any chances," Dolberry told The Inquirer. "We're going back in to ensure everyone is out."

The 435,000-square-foot center will house a 2,500-seat cello-shaped concert hall for the Philadelphia Orchestra and a separate 650-seat recital theater. Work on the $245 million center began in November 1998 and is scheduled to be completed in 2001.

Several workers told the paper that inspectors from OSHA completed an examination of the site just last week and gave its condition an approval.

"This company is very safe and the job has been run very safe," Henkel said.

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EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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