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Construction workers banned from site after woman injured in ‘flying chisel’ accident

wind energyA construction company honored last year for its safety program has banned seven of its workers from a New York City worksite, after a flying jack hammer chisel from the project shattered a window in a neighboring building and injured a woman.

“The employees [of Skanska USA] failed to follow well established and proper safety procedures despite a safety briefing that morning,” the city said Friday in a joint statement from the Sanitation Department and the Department of Design & Construction. “The workers in question have been banned from the East 91st Street MTS site.”

Took a shortcut

“Some of our workers decided to take a shortcut instead of doing what they were instructed to do,” a Skanska USA spokesperson said in a statement. "We immediately took corrective action, removing these individuals from their positions and permanently banning them from working on this project."

Work on the Manhattan waste transfer station was suspended until new management was installed.

According to news sources, the incident occurred July 9, when a 10-pound chisel from the construction project flew through a window at a nearby recreation center, injuring a woman who was exercising. She was treated for cuts at a local hospital and released.

Rigorous safety standards

On its website, Skanska USA lists safety as one of its core values:

“In 2011, Skanska began a strategic plan that aims to deliver a consistent zero fatality performance and a global lost time accident rate of < 1.0 per million man hours worked by 2015.

“To achieve this, we adopted rigorous safety standards that  go beyond the legal minimum, deliver safety training and education to both employees and contractors, incorporate safety into the production process to avoid conflicting priorities and work with others.”

The company received OSHA VPP recognition in 2013 for its work on the Croton Water Treatment Plant project in the Bronx, New York.

A division of Skanska USA Civil, Underpinning & Foundation Skanska, was recognized in 2013 with the Outstanding Safety Program Award from The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC).

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