Falling Pipes Caused Deaths of Two Construction Workers

Feb. 10, 2000
Two workers were crushed last week in Connecticut by approximately 50-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter pipes that fell on them from above.

Two men killed when the steel frame of a power plant building in Milford, Conn. collapsed last week were on a raised platform outside the structure when a rack of heavy pipes fall on them, officials said Tuesday.

Kevin Winslow, 42, and Wayne Most, 38, were crushed when 20 to 30 of the 50-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter pipes fell on them from above, officials told The Connecticut Post.

Crane operator, Robert Fitch, 62, of North Branford, Conn., was pinned in the cab of his machine for eight hours by steel girders and other debris that fell when a wall of the 80-foot-tall building under construction collapsed.

Fitch was in fair condition Tuesday in Bridgeport Hospital, and has been moved into a regular room from a special care unit.

Construction resumed on the $224 million project Tuesday, with work focused on parts of the 28-acre site that lie outside the accident area, according to the Post.

At the time of the accident, Winslow and Most were in a "man lift," a platform surrounded by a metal railing used to raise and lower workers at building sites, Ron Nobili, business manager for Laborers International Union Local 665 told the Post.

"There were ... radiator pipes above them, held by metal straps at the top of the [steel frame]," said Nobili, whose union represents 30 of approximately 250 workers at the job site. "When the building toppled, these pipes came down on them."

The men were boilermakers, a job that involves work on the boilers that are components of the electricity-generating process.

Nobili and Mario Roma, president of the Laborers' Union local, inspected the site Monday afternoon and were briefed about what happened.

The two men who were killed "were probably doing finishing work when it happened," Nobili told the Post. The steel structure of the boiler building had been bolted and welded in place, and the steel skin of the structure was being applied, he said.

The radiator pipes that fell would have been installed inside the structure when it was finished, the union leader said.

"There is an identical structure being built next to it, with pipe hanging on it, so you can see how it happened," said Nobili. "I imagine that part of what OSHA inspectors are doing is making sure it doesn't happen again."

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EHS Today Staff

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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