Worker dies in scaffolding fall at Pennsylvania hospital; 2nd construction death in 2 days

Associated Press

A worker restoring bricks on the exterior of a hospital on Wednesday fell from scaffolding and died, the second fatal construction accident in the region in as many days.

The Berwick man plunged about 100 feet from the scaffolding outside the Foss Clinic at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Montour County coroner Scott Lynn said.

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Preliminary indications are that workers preparing to take a break had removed wooden planking in preparation for lowering the scaffolding, replacing it with a thin piece of plywood, and the worker may have stepped on the plywood and fallen through, Lynn said.

"Co-workers reported hearing a loud 'Snap!' prior to him falling," Lynn said.

The name of the worker, who was pronounced dead at the scene, wasn't released pending notification of his relatives. An autopsy was being scheduled.

The hospital was cooperating with an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hospital spokesman Mike Ferlazzo said.

In neighboring Columbia County, the coroner's office said Richard Thomas Gold III, of Unityville, died Tuesday when a trench collapsed on a state transportation department project in Eyers Grove.