Vermont OSHA Probes Fatal Construction Accident

October 5, 2004

The state of Vermont said it will need about 10 days to investigate a construction accident that killed one man and sent a fellow worker to the hospital in Proctorsville.

The Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) is investigating whether any of its standards were violated at the condominium construction site, located behind the Castle Hill Resort along Route 103, a state official said.

“We’re looking at what the cause of the accident was and if any VOSHA standards were violated,” said Robert McLeod, the VOSHA compliance program director. “We’re looking at if that piece of equipment was set up on level ground.”

One Springfield man was killed last Thursday morning and a Perkinsville man was badly injured when a construction vehicle known as a boom truck tipped over. They fell from its basket more than 20 feet to the ground.

Michael Benoit, 50, was pronounced dead at Springfield Hospital on Thursday. Mathew Odice, 23, was flown by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and was listed in serious condition Friday, upgraded from critical on Thursday.

The two men were subcontractors working with the Quinn Company of Rutland on a series of condominiums behind the Castle Hill Resort that overlooks Okemo Mountain.

Odice’s mother, Deborah Varney of Perkinsville, said she was told Friday by another construction worker at the site that loose ground below the topsoil may have caused one of the machine’s four wheels to sink in, tipping the vehicle over.

The owner of the Quinn Company said he is urging all his employees and subcontractors at the site to cooperate fully in the investigation.

“Our job as a company is to cooperate with the authorities to find out what happened,” Tom Quinn said Friday. “We want to know what caused the accident to ensure that something like that doesn’t happen again.”

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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