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Construction Worker Injured in Accident at MEA Plant Site

Published On: Jan 21 2014 12:38:00 PM AKST
Construction Worker Badly Hurt in Accident at MEA Plant Site

A construction worker with a Matanuska Electric Association contractor was critically injured in a Saturday accident while building the co-op’s Eklutna Generation Station, company officials say.

In a Tuesday statement, Haskell Corp. spokesperson Ray Pierce says the worker was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage in critical but stable condition.

“The worker was injured in an accident on the construction site involving lift equipment which resulted in serious injuries,” Pierce said in the statement. “Following surgery Monday morning, doctors reported there were no complications following the procedure. The worker’s condition continued to improve.”

During a call to Channel 2 Tuesday afternoon, Pierce says the injured man was one of two carpenters installing trim on a 10-foot-by-14-foot rollup door, near another worker who was standing on a collapsible "man-lift" aerial platform, raised about four feet off the ground.

"The injured worker was standing at ground level and the worker on the aerial platform somehow rolled the platform into him, so he was pinned between the door and the platform," Pierce said.

Pierce says the worker underwent a precautionary surgery to relieve pressure on his chest, with his mother flown in from Colorado to visit him at the hospital. During a Monday visit, Pierce said he appeared to still be under the effects of painkillers but recognized her and smiled.

MEA’s acting communications director, Denali Daniels, says MEA executives were notified Saturday afternoon and “deeply saddened” by the news.

The state’s worker-safety agency, Alaska Occupational Safety and Health, has been notified of the incident. Both MEA and Haskell are investigating.

Pierce says work stopped at the site Saturday and Tuesday for two "stand-down" safety meetings to discuss what happened, with workers taking up a collection to benefit the injured man.

"That's always what they do, when one of their men gets hurt," Pierce said.