OSHA: Construction Beam Death Could Have Been Prevented

DES PLAINES, IL – OSHA investigators have determined that the death of 47-year-old Vincente Santoyo, the worker who was killed by a steel beam at a Des Plaines construction site on I-90 over Touhy Avenue on April 5, could have been prevented.

OSHA officials have opened an investigation into the dead worker’s employer, Omega Demolition Corp., of Elgin, Ill., and the general contractor, Judlau Contracting Inc., of New York.

The workers were on site at about 3:30 a.m. when the 187-foot-long beam fell. The workers were underneath, according to the fire department.

Authorities say the beam, part of the existing interstate bridge, was rigged for removal when the load shifted and the beam fell. The workers were all in small lift vehicles. Three other workers were hurt in the accident but treated and released from area hospitals.

OSHA investigators will be looking specifically into whether there were “enough support straps to support such a large beam.”

An OSHA spokesman said accidents like Tuesday’s are preventable, so long as OSHA standards and regulations are followed.