Tuesday, August 03, 2004

8th Largest General Contractor in Virginia Kills Employee

OK, so a small mom-and-pop construction company kills an employee in a trench collapse and they claim they didn't know what the regulations require. I don't buy it as an excuse, but it could happen.

But what about the 8th largest general contractor in Virginia, a multimillion-dollar company that's been in business for 20 years?
A Chesapeake construction worker died in an accident Saturday at Langley Air Force Base when the walls of an excavation site caved in, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

John Wheat, 45, was buried by sand when the collapse happened at 11:55 a.m., authorities said.


Wheat was employed by Mid Eastern Builders of Chesapeake, which was hired by the Army Corps to work on a $5.2 million storm sewer system upgrade at Langley, said Army Corps spokeswoman Diana Bailey.
Who could have thought sand could collapse? Anyone ever dug a hole at the beach?

OK, anyone can slip up once, right? What if they had just received an OSHA citation for...a trenching violation earlier this year? Oh, and one last year as well. Not to speak of at least 15 other OSHA citations over the past 10 years, including one fatality.

But, of course, it was only a small $5.2 million job for the Army Corps of Engineers. And they do a lot of community service.

Oh, and job safety is one of five quantifiable "Critical Success Factors" of their unique Project Delivery System. "The result of the implementation of our Project Delivery System is proven success."

But not so successful for John Wheat.