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OSHA to Investigate Northwestern Construction Fatality

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into Schaumburg, Ill.-based Power Construction Co. as a result of a fatality that occurred at a construction site at Evanston's Northwestern University on Thursday.

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Michael Kerr, 57, of Dyer, Ind., died after being struck by a wood beam that fell from six stories at the site of the Bienen School of Music and the School of Communication, a project that broke ground last summer. Police reports indicate a construction crane knocked the 70-lb., 16-ft-long beam off the building at about 7:15 a.m. Kerr, who was struck in the head and chest, died at Evanston Hospital following the incident.

Northwestern University indicated in a statement that Kerr was employed by Power Construction, which is serving as general contractor on the Bienen project. 

A Northwestern spokesman also told reporters work was halted on the site following the accident, indicating it was unclear when work on the project will resume. OSHA workers arrived on site on Thursday.

 

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