News Briefs: Utility Locator Falls From Bridge

In this week's news, a man locating utilities was electrocuted and fell from a bridge; two excavation companies are facing big fines from OSHA for trench violations; and Bertha moves to digging under downtown Seattle
News Briefs: Utility Locator Falls From Bridge

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A man conducting an underground utility locate fell 10 to 12 feet from a bridge in Malcolm, Nebraska, on June 7.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department says the 21-year-old employee of USIC called 911 from the embankment of Elk Creek just after 10 a.m. Fire and rescue personnel found him under a bridge. He was working alone.

The man says he was electrocuted before falling, but investigators were unable to find anything in the area capable of producing a significant shock, the sheriff’s department says.

The man was flown to an area hospital in serious condition.

Two Companies Facing OSHA Fines

Two Tallahassee, Florida, excavation contractors have been issued citations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to a story in the Tallahassee Democrat.

OSHA found the companies’ work site to be in violation of safety codes concerning cave-in hazards. OSHA says there were no shoring devices being used and proposed a fine of $108,500.

Both companies — Allen’s Excavation and Capital City Contracting — have 15 business days to appeal the findings.

Bertha Moves to Downtown Work

Since getting past the delicate work of crossing beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct in May, Bertha — the SR 99 tunneling machine — has moved into a stretch that takes it below downtown Seattle for the first time.

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s most recent progress update says that boring work is now 25 percent complete. The machine is in the third zone of 10 total on the tunnel route and has traveled 2,400 of the 9,270 feet it must go to reach the finish.

The machine has now built 361 of the 1,426 rings that comprise the tunnel wall. The top of the machine is approximately 105 feet below the surface.

The Department of Transportation posted a video of what the process looks like as wall segments were trucked in and moved into place by Bertha.


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