Federal and local authorities are investigating a workplace death that occurred Monday morning at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
According to Washington D.C.’s WUSA 9, an unidentified construction worker was fatally injured in a fall at the museum, part of the sprawling Smithsonian National Museum complex, around 7 a.m. The worker was employed by a subcontractor for Clark/Smoot/Consigli – a joint venture comprised of three construction firms: Clark Construction Group, LLC, Smoot Construction Co., and Consigli Construction Co., Inc.
“We take all matters involving the safety of our workforce, our job sites, and the public seriously,” the construction group said in a statement. “Clark/Smoot/Consigli and its subcontractors have started a full investigation and are cooperating with the proper authorities, including OSHA. Work in the area has been suspended until the onsite investigation is complete.”
Paramedics responding to the scene of the accident took the worker to a hospital where he died shortly after.
In addition to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the workplace death is also being investigated by the Washington D.C. Police Department and the companies involved in the construction project.
The Smithsonian selected Clark/Smoot/Consigli in October 2018 for the 45-year-old museum’s $900 million revitalization project. The work includes removing warped marble from the walls inside the museum’s west side and replacing it with marble that is twice the thickness. Seven new, re-imagined galleries are also being built in the first phase of the construction project.
The first stage of the remodel is expected to be completed in 2022. The second and final stage of the project, focusing on the museum’s other half, will then launch. The entire revitalization project is scheduled to be finished in 2025.
OSHA ranks construction among the “Fatal Four” industries with the most workplace deaths. Out of 4,779 worker fatalities that occurred in private industry in 2018, one in every five deaths (1,008) were in construction.
Falls are the leading cause of death in fatal construction accidents. In 2018, 338 of the 1,008 construction deaths (33.5%) were due to falls, according to OSHA.
Workplace injury lawyers
Beasley Allen handles a variety of cases related to workplace safety, including situations similar to this. While all workers should be guaranteed a safe working environment, all too often we handle cases of serious injuries and deaths resulting from a hazardous work environment. Many times our investigation reveals defective or dangerous machinery was involved, or employers failed to provide adequate protections or ignored safety regulations. If you need more information, contact Kendall Dunson or Evan Allen, lawyers in our Personal Injury & Products Liability Section who handle workplace litigation for our firm.