A construction worker fell from the seventh story of scaffolding at a dormitory jobsite and died of injuries early on June 30, according to a University of Vermont spokesman.
Jeffersonville, Vt., resident Dennis Longe, 61, was employed by Engelberth Construction, a Colchester, Vt.-based general contractor building a 207,000-sq-ft first-year residence hall at the university in Burlington, according to the school. “He was a laborer and worked for Engelberth for five months,” said Judy Longe, his widow.
On site at 6:40 a.m., Longe was working on the east wing of the residence hall when he fell, said Jeff Wakefield, spokesman for the university in Burlington.
University of Vermont Deputy Police Chief Tim Bilodeau said Longe tumbled to the ground from the top floor of the seven-floor structure—about 75 ft. “He was wearing a harness, and it was removed before he was transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington,” Bilodeau said. At the medical center, Longe was pronounced dead at 7:08 a.m., according to the Vermont death certificate.
The Chief Medical Examiner at the Vermont Dept. of Health ruled that the cause of death was an accident. The death certificate states that Longe died from “fractures and visceral injuries due to blunt force trauma of [the] torso.”
Steve Monahan, director of workers’ compensation and safety at the Vermont Dept. of Labor, declined to discuss the case until an investigation is completed. Work on the dormitory was suspended from June 30 until July 6.
In the past five years, OSHA has cited Engelberth, a non-union contractor, for three serious electrical violations, and the firm paid $2,900 in penalties, according to the agency’s website. The company declined to comment.
The residence hall where Longe was working is one of three construction projects currently underway at the university, including the university’s largest-ever capital project—a science, technology, engineering and mathematics complex—and a patient care facility.