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Probe of 2 Bridge Deaths Underway

Monday, January 13, 2014

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Work is expected to resume this week on an Alabama overpass construction project as investigations continue into the deaths of two workers last week.

David Lee White, 63, and Lomax Phillips, 53, of Birmingham, AL, fell about 90 feet to the ground Wednesday (Jan. 8) after their aerial lift apparently malfunctioned and fell away from an Interstate 85 overpass on a major bridge project in Montgomery, authorities said.

Bridge accident

The aerial lift broke free from this section of overpass under construction, toppling to the ground with two workers on board, authorities said.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene, Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall told WSFA-TV.

Bridge Contractor

White and Phillips were both employed by R.R. Dawson Bridge Company, the prime contractor on the multi-year, $500 million,10-bridge Montgomery Outer Loop project to extend Interstate 85 through western Alabama.

A spokesman for R.R. Dawson Bridge declined to comment Friday (Jan. 10).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and local authorities were investigating.

Collapsed lift

The lift toppled about 90 feet. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Local news reports said White and Phillips were working from the lift to place wood under a bracket along the side of the overpass when the lift detached from the bridge.

No further details on the accident or the victims were available Friday.

The Alabama Department of Transportation halted work on the project for the rest of the week. Work is expected to resume this week, weather permitting.

Lift Safety

Instability is a common source of aerial lift tipovers, which are frequently fatal.

OSHA offers a fact sheet and safety tips on aerial lifts on its website. In addition, CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training offers a Toolbox Talk on Aerial Lifts.



Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Fall protection; Fatalities; lift

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