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Worker killed in New York construction accident

Tragedy struck at a New York construction site last week when a worker was killed as he was pinned by heavy machinery.

State police and rescuers were summoned to a construction site about 300 miles north of New York City, in Port Kent.

They rushed to the scene of the construction accident at about 10:30 in the morning, where a 46-year-old worker was pinned by a large auger.

An auger is a drilling device that has a rotating blade that effectively screws into the ground and removes debris as it drills.

The Vermont man was employed by Trenchless Technologies of New England. The small, Vermont-based company is a subcontractor for Steven E. Fuller Excavation, a New York excavation and concrete company.

The worker was apparently trying to move a large pipe. Media reports said the pipe is about three feet in diameter.

The worker was operating a boring machine, trying to install a length of pipe. According to a media report, "the machine became bound in the pipe." The worker was subsequently thrown to the ground, where he was pinned by the auger.

A fellow employee then used a backhoe, or digger, to pick up the auger off of the man, who was then moved away from the machinery.

Workers administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until emergency medical personnel arrived and transported the man to a nearby hospital.

His death is under investigation not only by the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration, but also by state police.

OSHA will investigate the circumstances of the incident to determine if the man was properly trained, if the machine was properly maintained and to see what factors contributed to the man's untimely death.

Source: The Press-Republican: "Vermont man dies in Port Kent construction accident" by Andrea Van Valkenburg: July 20, 2011

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