Monday, July 31, 2017

OSHA is still investigating what caused the elevator to plummet seven floors and injure 5 construction workers at The Standard construction site in New Orleans, LA

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Construction workers who were next door to The Standard construction site last Friday on Monday recalled the moment they heard an elevator plummet seven stories to the ground below.

"There's an emergency braking system on it, and that's what we heard, but it gave way," one told WWL-TV.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it's still investigating what caused the elevator to plummet seven floors. Investigators arrived at the site near Julia and South Rampart streets to inspect the elevator and some of its parts.

"It hits home closer to us than anything else especially when it's some employees as opposed to just one," said Doug Castro with Global Educational Resource Alliance,.

In his role, Castro has visited numerous construction sites to keep workers safe. "Falls is the number one construction killer year after year."

Castro said OSHA will look into things such as the brake system, power, what the elevators were used to lift, and interview those involved. "But the great thing about it, as we spoke about earlier, the spring that's at the bottom of the elevator if you ask my opinion that has to have been what saved all 11 employees."

WWL-TV checked in with a supervisor from Friday, who said all five injured workers have been released.

He said the most serious injury was a fractured food. And, he said, even though 11 people were inside, the elevator, it was nowhere near load capacity.

"Biggest thing is to make safety considerations, so that thing issue will hopefully not happen again," Castro said.

Hopefully, it won't happen again, but for everyday construction workers, it's just another potential hazard that comes with the job.

Castro said because investigators have a lot of variables to look into, it could take several weeks before authorities release a report on what happened.



Five people were injured Friday when an elevator apparatus failed at the construction site of a building in the Central Business District.

The accident was reported Friday afternoon near Julia and South Rampart streets.

New Orleans Emergency Medical Services officials said the workers were taken to a hospital. One is in guarded condition and four are in stable condition.

Woodward Design + Build, LLC., the company overseeing construction of The Standard condominium project downtown, said the elevator apparatus -- known as a hoist -- experienced a failure while 11 people were inside.

The company said the five people were at a hospital had minor injuries. The hoist was supplied by Eagle Access, which was subcontracted by Woodward Design + Build, LLC.

"Our primary concern is for the safety of our employees and subcontractors working on the jobsite, and their swift and full recovery," the company said in a statement. "We expect representatives from Eagle Access and third-party inspectors to arrive to the site tomorrow morning to determine the cause of the equipment failure."

Officials have not confirmed how many stories the elevator fell.

Additional details have not been released.