The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Investigation finds no violations in on-campus fatal accident

Investigation finds no violations in on-campus fatal accident - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The College of Business and Library Hall construction site on Mar. 3, 2022. Photo by Amber Esparza

A federal investigation Feb. 8 concluded the contractor in charge of the construction site at Texas A&M University-San Antonio did not make any violations to cause the incident that killed a construction worker and injured another in September.

A fatal accident occurred in September on the construction site of the College of Business and Library, developed by Byrne Construction Services. 

“If there are none (violations), no citations are issued,” Chauntra Rideaux, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration public affairs officer, said in a March 16 phone call. 

OSHA, which falls under the Department of Labor, conducted an inspection to see if there were any safety hazards that caused the accident and death on campus.

“There were no citation issues, so that means OSHA didn’t find any safety or health violations,” Rideaux said. 

In addition, The Mesquite filed an open records request with OSHA to view the final report. 

The report stated the construction employee, David Loree, was “crushed by an air handling unit,” which took his life.

The unit was put onto skates inside the building while the front slings were removed. 

According to the event description, “With the two (slings) on the back still on, (a) gust of wind supposedly picked (the) unit up and fell 10 feet crushing a worker.”

Loree had a partially severed arm and leg.

Francisco Montelongo was hospitalized with bodily and head injuries. 

The report stated the construction employee, David Loree, was “crushed by an air handling unit,” which took his life.

A Compliance Safety and Health Officer held a conference with Rigging and Way Mechanical, Byrne Construction Services and TNT Crane & Rigging. A walk-around inspection took place after the employers were notified there would be interviews and footage shot of the construction site.

During the walk-through, it was assessed employees were working on moving “three air handling units to the interior of the 3rd floor” using a crane through an open side of the building “on or about” Sept. 22.

The first unit was placed on a pad inside the building successfully. 

An interviewed employee said, “the second unit was rigged on the ground and raised to the mechanical room.”

Following the fatal accident, work on the air handling units came to a halt. 

The unit “that tipped over” was removed with a crane from the site for inspection on October 19. The report described the unit as “rigged.” 

The report states as of January 14, “TNT Crane & Rigging was contracted to perform a ‘turn-key’ services for Way Mechanical.”

TNT Crane & Rigging now had the responsibility of transporting the air handling units from the ground into the fourth floor and placing them on the pads.

CSHO held a final conference with the three employers where they discussed no observed violations, employer rights and reviewed hazards and standards.

 

About the Author

Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada
Editor-in-Chief
Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Allen County Community College in Kansas in 2019. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music and watch either sitcoms or K-dramas. She wants to explore the world as a journalist after graduating.

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