Another worker has been injured on the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project in Orlando, Florida, Spectrum News 13 reported. SGL Constructors, a joint venture between Skanska USA, Granite Construction and The Lane Construction Corp., is the general contractor, and its customer is the Florida Department of Transportation.
A 60-foot, 7,000-pound pipe reportedly struck the worker in the leg last Friday, and he or she was transported to the hospital for treatment. SGL told Spectrum News that the worker, who was not identified, was a subcontractor and that the incident happened during regular construction activities.
OSHA will likely investigate the accident, but there was still no record of the injury or an investigation found in the agency's public database as of Sept. 17.
So far, four workers have been killed on the 21-mile, widening and toll-lane project, which is a public-private partnership (P3) between the Florida DOT and I-4 Mobility Partners. The P3 group is led by Skanska Infrastructure Development and John Laing Group.
The first fatality on the I-4 project took place in February 2016. Marvin Franklin, 34 years old, was struck by a dirt-filled dump truck. In December 2016, 59-year-old Curtis Popkey, who worked for SGL subcontractor Central Florida Underground, was killed after he was hit by a piece of steel equipment. Then, in March 2018, Michael Tolman, who worked for Shelby Erectors, another SGL subcontractor, died after a rebar cage fell on him. The last death on the project happened when a pipe hit a 59-year-old unidentified worker in the head.
In that last case, OSHA fined SGL $15,150 for two violations — one serious ($13,260) and the other for recordkeeping violations ($1,895) — but, as part of an informal settlement, SGL will pay only $13,260.
Also in February 2019, after the project had reopened after the last fatality, three SGL workers were hurt after they fell 15 feet from an elevated platform while pouring concrete. Emergency responders, according to local media reports, said the accident occurred after a section of formwork failed. After the incident, SGL Constructors stopped work again so that all similar platforms could be inspected.
While all construction workers are vulnerable to being hit by materials, vehicles or equipment, one of the primary concerns of the Federal Highway Administration when it comes to surface transportation projects is the chance that workers will be hit by passing traffic in work zones. In order to reduce the likelihood that a motorist will hit a construction worker — or that workers will be struck in the course of their work activities — the FHWA has set out some basic guidelines. They include:
- Maintaining high worker visibility, which includes wearing special high-visibility apparel and paying attention to blind spots.
- Instituting temporary traffic control measures.
- Abiding by the Workers Safety for Highway Construction standard.
- Training workers on safety procedures