The Norman Transcript

June 19, 2012

Four-story fall kills worker

Identity withheld as OSHA investigation continues

By Joel Pruett
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A construction worker with Universal Roofing & Sheet Metal died Monday after falling from a building site at the University of Oklahoma.

Reports indicate the worker, who name has not been released late Monday, fell four stories at Headington Hall, at Lindsey Street and Jenkins Avenue.

“They have an open investigation into the incident,” said Elizabeth Dodd, regional director for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs.

Dodd confirmed the death and said investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the labor department, were on the scene Monday afternoon.

Kirk Mammen, senior project manager for Flintco LLC, the private contractor building the residence hall, said the deceased’s name has yet to be released.

“Right now, we’re still gathering the facts of it,” Mammen said.

Dana Birkes, Flintco’s vice president of business development and marketing, said the man fell four-stories.

The man was transported by helicopter to an area hospital after witnesses administered first aid and called 911, Birkes said.

Witnesses said the man fell to a lower roof. EMSStat medics stabilized the worker so he could be lowered to ground level on an aerial platform.

The University of Oklahoma Police Department set up a landing zone in a university parking lot just south of the construction site.

Monday afternoon, Birkes said OSHA had not released any official findings, though a preliminary investigation suggests the man had not secured his safety harness to the provided tie-off points.

She said Flintco policy requires that all workers at that height be harnessed and tied off.

OSHA is looking into Universal Roofing, a Moore company. Flintco also is conducting an investigation.

Because of these ongoing investigations, Dodd, Mammen and Birkes declined further comment.

Though officials of each entity declined further comment, Universal Roofing and the University of Oklahoma each released brief statements detailing their sympathy and respect for the family.

Joel Pruett 366-3540 jpruett@normantranscript.com