BOSTON (WHDH) – Suffolk Construction has suspended work at all of its sites in Boston as federal officials investigate the scene of a walkway collapse in south Boston on Wednesday, as well as an incident involving a worker. fell in a building in the South End on Thursday.
The company is conducting a voluntary ‘safety shutdown’ to examine its sites until Friday, Suffolk officials said.
“We will also use this safety expectation as an opportunity to build safety awareness on construction sites and empower our teams to secure, assess, clean and organize their construction sites for the resumption of work,” the company wrote in a statement. “In the event that this assessment requires additional time for an individual worksite, this site may remain closed until the review is complete and ready to reopen safely.”
Suffolk is the general contractor for the demolition of the 1898 Boston Edison Power Plant in South Boston, part of a 1.7 million square foot mixed retail, residential and office complex. Officials said a walkway collapsed on three workers during demolition and two were quickly freed, another was stuck for three hours with his legs under piles of debris.
A day later, a crew member at one of the company‘s construction sites in the South End was also injured in a fall while working, according to Boston police.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said his office was investigating but found no immediate evidence of criminal conduct. Federal investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are reviewing the site and say it will take six months to complete their investigation.
This is the second high-profile structural collapse in Boston in just over a month. A cave-in during the demolition of the Government Center car park claimed the life of an engineer when 100 tonnes of debris crashed to the ground above the Haymarket MBTA station.
A South Boston resident expressed concern about damage to the site and said OSHA needs to protect workers.
“OSHA better get to the bottom of it or they’d all have to be fired, to allow this to happen,” resident Joe Cappuccio said. “Who takes care of the worker? Nobody!”
Suffolk Construction has undertaken several major projects in the Boston area, including work on Encore Casino, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and ongoing projects at Logan International Airport.
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