Boston Fire Dept.
The top seven floors of the 12-story building pancaked under a dead load, according to a fire department spokesman.
Boston Fire Dept.

Three construction workers were injured when a dead load on the 12th floor of an apartment building jobsite “pancaked down to the fifth floor” just before 8 a.m. on March 20, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Calobrisi of the Boston Fire Dept. at the scene in Boston’s Theater District.

“Two of the workers were brought down from the fifth floor of the building in rescue baskets … and transported by ambulance to the Tufts University Medical Center nearby,” said Steve MacDonald, Boston Fire Dept. spokesman. “One had minor injuries and was treated and released; the other had a serious head wound and is still in the hospital,” he said.

“The third worker, who hurt his wrist, walked to the hospital on his own for treatment,” MacDonald said. “None of the [workers] injuries was life threatening.”

“We are relieved that this is the case and hopeful they will make full recoveries,” stated Michael Roberts, senior vice president of development at AvalonBay Communities, Boston, owner of the property. “We are fully cooperating with the fire department investigation and are in contact with representatives of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)."

The 33-story,  400-unit residential tower at  45 Stuart St. was scheduled for completion by mid-2015. John Moriarty & Associates is the construction manager for the project and Avalon Bay is the general contractor.  Moriarity declined to comment on the incident.

MacDonald said he was unsure on which floor the injured laborers were working when the flooring collapsed. He said inspectors from OSHA, the city, and the state were examining the building.

Before the investigators arrived, the contractor returned to unload the steel lying on the top floor using a large crane on the top of the building, MacDonald said. 

Ted Fitzgerald, director for public affairs in New England, U.S. Dept. of Labor, said the crane operator works for Pembroke, Mass.-based J.F. Stearns, the subcontractor erecting the steel. The crane was rented from Trevose, Pa-headquartered AmQuip, he said.

Immediately following the accident, OSHA opened an investigation at 45 Stuart St. to determine the probable cause and whether there were any violations of workplace safety standards, Fitzgerald said. He was not at liberty to discuss possible causes since “OSHA does not discuss the specifics of open inspections.”

“It’s too early to estimate a time frame for the investigation but given the nature of the incident the inspection could take up to six months to complete,” he said. 

Fitzgerald was not able to confirm whether any of the three workers were union members, but stated that some workers working on the site are members of Iron Workers Local 7, Boston, and Operating Engineers Local 4, Medway, Mass. Neither union would comment on the incident.

CBS Boston Channel 4 reported on March 20 that Bobby Donavon, an employee with Triple G Scaffold Services Corp. in Norwell. Mass., was the most seriously injured worker. Triple G declined comment.