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Worker Crushed at Steel Bridge Plant

Monday, June 11, 2012

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Authorities are investigating the death of one worker and an injury of two others at one of North America’s largest steel bridge manufacturers.

Police said the victim became trapped about 1:30 p.m. Friday under a trailer at Canam Structal-Bridges in Claremont, NH.

 Authorities said the victim had been helping to load this steel arch piece for shipping when the accident occurred.

 WMUR-TV

Authorities said the victim had been helping to load this steel arch piece for shipping when the accident occurred.

The man, who was not immediately identified, had been trying to load a large steel span onto a trailer when he was pinned beneath the trailer’s wheels, police said.

Emergency workers were able to free the man and take him to Valley Regional Hospital, “but, unfortunately, the individual did succumb to his injuries,” said Claremont Police Department Chief Alex Scott.

Two other workers were also injured, the company said. One was still out of work Monday.

652K Tons of Steel

Structal-Bridges, part of the Canam Group, is the largest steel bridge manufacturer in Canada and a key player in the Northeastern United States. Canam Group completes about 12,000 construction projects a year, requiring the fabrication of 652,000 tons of steel construction products.

The New Hampshire plant fabricates steel girders and arches for large bridges. Police said the victim was loading a steel arch onto a trailer to be transported when the accident occurred.

 Canam Structal-Bridges offers a variety of fabricating and coating services for steel bridges and bridge components.

 Canam Structal-Bridges

Canam Structal-Bridges offers a variety of fabricating and coating services for steel bridges and bridge components.

A local television station said the piece may have been headed for the Pawtucket River Bridge, now under construction in Rhode Island.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Company Response

Ron Peppe Vice President of Human Resources, said in a statement Monday (June 11):

“It is with deep sadness that the management of Canam Group Inc. confirms that an occupational accident caused one fatality at its Claremont plant in New Hampshire, on Friday June 8. Two other employees were injured, one of whom has returned to work. The Company and OSHA are both investigating the circumstances of the accident.

“Canam Group acquired the Claremont facility from Eastern Bridge in 2007 and since has been working to make this plant a state-of-the-art facility. The health and safety of our employees is an important company value and Canam Group is committed to maintaining a safe work environment. We will do everything we can to learn what caused the accident and will try to make sure it never happens again. But for now, Canam’s thoughts are focused on expressing our condolences and support for the family of our employee.”

The statement said counseling would be available to employees and their families.

OSHA Record

OSHA has cited Canam Structal-Bridges twice in recent years.

In August 2010, the company was issued three serious and one other-than-serious violation regarding fall protection and other hazards. The case was settled with two serious and two other-than-serious violations and a $3,600 fine.

In July 2008, the company was initially cited for five serious and one other-than-serious violation and related to lockout/tagout and machine hazards. The initial penalty of $10,350 was reduced to $3,600.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Health and safety; OSHA; Steel

Comment from Car F., (6/12/2012, 10:40 AM)

This is a repeat offender, the criminals are running amock killing honest, law abiding workers, where is the mandatory jail sentences for negligent employers who cause harm and death?


Comment from Karen Fischer, (6/12/2012, 3:34 PM)

How about we wait until the investigation is complete and the facts are known before we take the employer out back to shoot them?


Comment from Brian Chapman, (6/13/2012, 6:15 AM)

+1 Karen. MANY times, no matter how hard an employer tries to provide a safe work place, employees still do stupid, unsafe things. Even with the best training and education, human nature will prevail and people will take shortcuts to do their jobs.


Comment from Car F., (6/13/2012, 10:29 AM)

"In July 2008, the company was initially cited for five serious and one other-than-serious violation" "In August 2010, the company was issued three serious and one other-than-serious violation regarding fall protection and other hazards" Get serious!, how many times is acceptable to risk someone's life?, what happened to the THREE STRIKES YOU ARE OUT phylosophy?...someone robs a pizza joint and gets 10 years mandatory sentence an irres[ponsable employer innures and kills people and gets a small fine.......something wrong with the picture.


Comment from Gilbert ontheest, (6/13/2012, 10:42 AM)

"...employers who cause harm and death?", really Car? What did this company do to "cause" this death? What rules would YOU have placed in company policy to prevent this accident?


Comment from Gilbert ontheest, (6/13/2012, 10:45 AM)

Car, your reference to "three strikes and you're out" doesn't apply. Robbing a pizza joint is a choice the person makes and is not an accident on a work site.


Comment from James Johnson, (6/13/2012, 1:31 PM)

Car - shall we also shoot the worker who fails to comply with the rules and takes off his hard hat or safety glasses? Is he not just as much at fault? Years ago the firm I worked for was cited by OSHA because some employee ran an extention cord across the floor, which was against our rules, so we got cited for a trip hazard. The same OSHA man cited us because an employee had taken the guard off a hand held grinder. The fact is many times the employee is every bit as much at fault as the employer. There is also the fact of life that accidents do happen. No one can 100% guard against every possible accident 100% of the time. We can all do our best to avoid accidents but they will happen anyway. Should we all be shot or spend 10 years behind bars?


Comment from Josh Inklovich, (6/14/2012, 7:27 AM)

I have worked extensively with CanAm in the past. Car, your comments are way out of line. You have no clue (I repeat no clue) what went on at that plant to cause the accident. Are you really willing to act as judge, jury, and executioner based on the information in a one page article? They (CanAm) bought an old facility from a failing company. No one is perfect, and I am sure they were working to bring the Claremont facility up to safety standards when OSHA decided to stop in. If you knew anything about OSHA violations, you would know that a company does not have to do a whole lot of anything to receive a $3,000 fine. OSHA has to get their safety inspection costs back somehow.


Comment from Stephen Dobrosielski, (6/14/2012, 8:11 AM)

There's a lot of information missing from this article that I would need to know before I could comment on CanAm's safety performance, the employee's function and OSHA involvement. How did an employee get pinned beneath a trailer during loading of a fabricated steel assembly? Did the trailer shift? Was there a problem that required him to get beneath the trailer? Sorry folks, I will await more "facts" before I say more.


Comment from Mary Chollet, (6/14/2012, 8:42 AM)

All: Thanks for all of your good comments and your interest. We would like this information as well. Please understand that we publish all of the details that are available when an accident occurs. Frequently, those initial accounts leave more questions than answers. That is why OSHA, police, the companies and/or other agencies conduct in-depth investigations that may take months to complete. We will follow up when the information is available. Thanks.


Comment from Car F., (6/14/2012, 12:19 PM)

Thank you Mrs. Chollet for bringing awareness on these issues. There is certainly a level of interest as reflected on the comments. Please keep up reporting on safety issues, as our industry dependes on healthy and able bodies to work in a responsible and efficient manner. The bad apples in the industry are detrimental to a healthy business environment and their actions need to be scrutinized, exposed, monitored and punished according to the law.


Comment from Rosela Goulet, (7/18/2013, 3:07 PM)

I AM THE MOTHR OF THE WORKER THAT WAS CRUSHED TO DEATH ON JUNE 8TH, 2012 AT CANMA STRUCTUAL. IT'S NOW A LITTLE OVER A YEAR SINCE MY SON. SCOTT DIED, AND THE ONLY CONSOLATION GIVEN TO ME WAS THAT OSHA FINED THE COMAPNY FOR A SERIOUS VIOLATION 7K. I HAVE THE COMPLETE OSAH REPORT IN MY HAND, PRINTED AND ON CD. FOUTEEN PAGES INTO THE REPORT IT STATED, (exact wording) "PER CSHO INTERVIEWS OF WORKERS AND MANAGEMENT, THE TIRES OF THE TRAILER WERE NOT CHOCKED AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE AIR FOR THE BRAKES WAS NOT DISCONNECTED PRIOR TO THE LOADING PROCESS. EITHER ONE OF THESE ACTIONS, HAD THEY BEEN TAKEN PRIOR TO LOADING OF THE GIRDER,ULD HAVE LIKELY PREVENT THE ACCIDENT AND THE FATALITY. THE COMPANY DID NOT TAKE THESE ACTION TO PREVEN THE MOVEMENT OF THE REAR TRAILER." NOW YOU TELL ME 7K WAS A SUFFICIENT FINE FOR THE LOSS OF MY SON !!


Comment from Rosela Goulet, (7/18/2013, 3:28 PM)

Please excuse some of my spelling errors, my keyboard sticks, should have read "complete OSHA' and prior to loading of the girder "would" have likely prevented the accident and the fatality, the company did not take these actions to "prevent" the movement of the trailer. I apologize for the typing errors, Thank you, Rose


Comment from Rosela Goulet, (7/18/2013, 7:14 PM)

MISSING YOU ISN’T THE PROBLEM, IT’S KNOWING THAT YOUR NEVER COMING BACK THAT’S KILLING ME. TELL ME LOSING MY SON, MY DAUGHTER LOSING HER BROTHER, MY GRAND DAUGHTER LOSING HER FATHER, MY GRANDSON SON LOSING HIS UNCLE AND I’M TOLD I CAN’T DO A THING ABOUT IT. HIS LIFE WAS ONLY WORTH A FINE OF 7K TO THE COMPANY THAT CAUSED HIS DEATH. WE JUST HAVE TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING KNOWING WE WILL NEVER SEE OR TALK TO HIM AGAIN. SO WRONG, THANX FOR LETTING ME VENT, ROSE


Comment from M. Halliwell, (7/19/2013, 11:08 AM)

(Hopefully this isn’t a double post). Rosela, I feel for you and your family and I hope you’ll accept my deepest condolences for your loss. The comments here and my local experience have made me wonder if the truck and trailer for the haul were CanAm's or a specialized hauling contractor’s. The reason I ask is that I am trying to understand if CanAm was fined as they had ultimate responsibility for safety on the site (their site, their safety program and their responsibility to enforce it) or because it was actually an error on their part. Car, I do agree that multiple repeat and/or willful violations should be dealt with harshly by OSHA (we've seen far too many companies with a blatant disregard for safety hilighted in these articles), but the citations to CanAm in the past appear to be unrelated and, although they are still a concern, they do not necessarily indicate a poor safety program or disregard for safety.


Comment from josh hutcheson, (7/19/2013, 11:12 AM)

as with all types of things that can go wrong unless you were there and making the calls as to what was going on you do not know and are only guessing as to what and who caused the event to take place the way it did hind sight 20/20 fore sight not so good


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