Worker dies after construction accident at Hanover Inn
By Amanda Young
Published on Thursday, March 15, 2012
A worker at the Hanover Inn construction site died on Tuesday after suffering a serious head injury caused by a construction accident, Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Dana Lowe, a 53-year-old resident of Morrisville, Vt., was assisting in the erection of steel beams from a scissor lift when a crane ball inadvertently knocked over the aerial lift on which he was standing, according to Giaccone.
“He fell about 15 feet and his head struck the concrete floor and some steel beams,” he said.
Lowe was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in a “semi-unconscious” state, Giaccone said.
He died 12 to 15 hours after arriving at DHMC, according to Giaccone. The New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office listed the cause of death as “blunt force trauma to the head,” according to a Hanover Police press release.
Lowe was hired as a subcontractor by CSE Inc. of Williston, Vt. to work on the expansion of the Hanover Inn.
Engelberth Construction of Colchester, Vt. is the general contractor working on the Inn, and the crane is owned and operated by Able Crane Service of Merrimack, N.H., according to the press release.
Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting an investigation to determine if any workplace safety standards were violated, according to Giaccone. Investigations are “normal procedure” after industrial accidents and could take extended periods of time, he said.
“It could take anywhere from three months to six months to a year,” he said.
No other issues have occurred at the Inn construction site, according to Giaccone.
Hanover Police have deferred further investigation of the incident to the OSHA, he said.
Workers will resume construction on Monday, CSE Inc. owner Bill Michaud said. Construction was suspended to provide the crew with grievance counseling, he said.
“We always work within the rules of safety and awareness,” he said. “We never want to see anything like this ever happen.”
CSE Inc. has never experienced an accident “of this nature,” according to Michaud.
The last time a construction worker died operating on a site in the Hanover area was during the summer of 2011, according to Giaccone. In that incident, a worker operating a backhoe on the construction site of the newly built Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center suffered a fatal heart attack.
The most recent incident before Tuesday's involving material errors was a “couple of years ago,” he said. At that time, pipes collapsed onto a worker moving some metal piping in a trailer at a construction site of the College.
The Inn has been closed since December for expansion and renovation, including the addition of more guest rooms and the implementation of a new state-of-the-art ballroom and conference center. The Inn is projected to reopen on June 1, in time for Commencement.