Construction worker falls to his death

On July 21, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a 31-year-old man who was a construction worker working on the new Health and Sciences building fell from a ladder on the fourth story of the uncompleted building to the ground below. The drop was about 40 feet. The man was pronounced dead by the medics as soon as they arrived on scene. All BC flags were lowered to half-staff for the entire week following the man’s death.
There were witnesses to this tragic event confirming that it was a construction accident. The man was working on the fourth floor on a ladder and subsequently fell. He was said to be wearing a harness, but whether or not the harness was attached to anything is a question that still has not been answered or released to the public.
“[Witnesses] said he was on a ladder, fell from that ladder and down several stories to the ground below. Officers are investigating and talking to those witnesses to see exactly what happened in this case,” said Bellevue Officer Seth Tyler in an interview with KIRO 7.
The company that is in charge of the Health and Sciences building production is Bayley Construction, but the man was contracted with Evergreen Erectors Inc., which was subcontracted next to Bayley Construction, said the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.  An L&I spokesman reported that Evergreen Erectors Inc. was cited in 2013 for forklift operations and received no citations during a safety inspection in 2012.
As far as the future of the Health and Sciences building, it is still going to be completed. When though, is up in the air. “I expect that work on the project will be stopped until an investigation is complete. I don’t know how long that delay might be,” said Ray White, BC vice president of administrative services.
Fortunately, Bellevue College will not be held responsible for any of the events that happened on that day. Anything that happens inside the fence is the sole responsibility of the contractor, White said.
Whether or not safety protocol will change is unsure at this point, but according to White, Bayley Construction has an excellent safety record and very extensive safety training in addition to strict standards for their employees and visitors to the site.
Another question that has risen from the accident is whether or not the cost of the building will go up because of the tragedy. According to White, “Not directly. However, significant delays do drive overall costs up for construction projects. Who is responsible for extended overhead costs would have to be determined later.”
Whether or not any sort of memorial piece will be put in place for the man at the future Health and Sciences building has yet to be discussed. At the time of print, the man’s identity still has not been released to the public.