Local News

Construction Worker Injured In Fall At Carter-Finley Stadium

Posted June 1, 2004

— A construction worker is in critical condition after falling 80 feet from a construction platform at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh Monday.

Investigators say Jose Perez, 30, was working on the second level of the football stadium's new press box when he lost his balance and fell off the platform.

Police say Perez was not wearing a safety harness. He is being treated at WakeMed.

Monday's incident is the second in three months at the construction site. A worker died when a steel-reinforced column collapsed on March 22.

In each of the Carter-Finley work site accidents -- and three others in Wake and Johnston counties in recent weeks --the victims were Latino.

Wednesday a 100,000-pound wall crushed a worker to death in Morrisville. Two weeks ago, a worker was killed at a Smithfield lumber company after drowning in a mountain of saw dust. In March, a laborer was killed in Holly Springs after being crushed under a concrete culvert.

Federal statistics show Hispanic work-related deaths are on the rise. Twenty workers died in 2001 and 25 were killed in 2002.

"All of it is very concerning to us -- whether it's the communication barriers, the cultural differences, training, whether it's appropriate and proper," said state Labor commissioner Cherie Berry.

The disturbing trend inspired lawmakers to propose legislation that would pay for construction safety training for non-English speaking workers.

Turner Construction is in charge of the work site.

OSHA investigators with the Occupational Safety & Health Adminstration, OSHA, are not commenting on the accident except to say it is under investigation.

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