Construction accident kills SC man

Friday, June 15, 2012 8:18 AM
Last updated 8:22 AM
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FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. — A Greenville man has been killed in an accident at a construction site in Fountain Inn.

Greenville County chief deputy coroner Mike Ellis says the accident happened late Thursday morning when a piece of equipment rolled in a trench.

Jennifer DeWitt with the Greenville Water System says a crew was installing pipes when the accident occurred. Ellis says the trench was about 16 feet deep and 12 feet across.

Another worker was seriously injured.

Ellis says the dead man was 28-year-old Pedro Alberto Miguel Perez, who died at the scene.

Sam Schudel was in serious condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital after he was trapped and had to be removed from the trench.

No other injuries were reported.

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scgator 06/15/12 - 09:03 am
TRAGIC; I lost a friend in

TRAGIC; I lost a friend in this same type of accident about five years ago. OSHA requires steel "wall supports" for any area of an excavated ditch where employees are working. However almost ALL independent contractors ignore this rule. Always complaining that costs and work slowdown is a factor; my friend was working on construction at the Atlanta Airport, and a dump truck (with an unlicensed illegal alien driving) drove by near the ditch and the weight of it collapsed the ditch on him and he suffocated. This incident in Fountain Inn sounds very similar. OSHA has safeguards and procedures in place to protect workers.............but, profit oriented contractors will not allow the procedures to work. Georgia and South Carolina are "right to work" states.............and the contractor's interpretation of that is.........."are you refusing to work? I don't see a problem; we have done it this way for years and nothing has ever happened. Now get in the ditch and get the job done, or you're fired." Sounds extreme, but that is how it really is out here in the REAL world.........

I almost got fired a few years ago while working as a Maintenance Supervisor; the main electrical control room in our plant flooded because of excessive rain and thus had the plant shut down. The plant manager told me to get my crew "in there" and get it turned back on, that production was down. I refused to send my men in that environment and was told......."all they have to do is lay some pallets on the floor and walk on them over to the switchgear and reset them" There was about 4 inches of water on the floor......I told the plant manager that I would get the pallets and let "him" walk in the room and turn the 480 Volts back on;............then all of a sudden, it was not a problem, we could wait until the water subsided..........

burninater 06/15/12 - 10:29 am
You're 100% right, scgator.

You're 100% right, scgator.

For example, the primary contractor for construction at the ongoing V.C. Summer nuclear expansion in Jenkinsville, Shaw, has literally MILLIONS of manhours clicked on that job without a SINGLE lost work accident (someone injured enough to need time off from work). And they're not putting in a garden patio, they've got two giant excavations, the reactor assembly building, support buildings and infrastructure, runoff ponds, pipes you could drive a truck through, hard rock blasting, heavy loaders, massive welding operations, the world's largest crane, and literally thousands of workers.

The single cause of workplace accidents is absence of safe practices, and that's usually a result of putting cost-cutting first and the lives of your employees second.

MTBer 06/15/12 - 10:47 am
No cave-in

The article says nothing about the walls caving in. It states something totally different.

Regardless, sorry to hear someone so young losing their life, while out doing an honest job and trying to earn a living.

burninater 06/15/12 - 11:04 am
No, the article doesn't say

No, the article doesn't say it was a trench collapse, but equipment rolling into an excavation is equally 100% preventable with safe practices.

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