Mr. Rosaulino Montano, 46, an employee ofÂ Â Engineered Construction Products of Smithsburg, MD fell seven stories to his death on Tuesday, Nov 18Â on the campus of my workplace, the George Washington University (GWU).Â Â Mr. Montano was installing windowsÂ at aÂ $75 million residence hallÂ under construction at F St and 22nd St. on the Foggy Bottom campus.Â The 10-story buildingÂ will house 400 students and isÂ schedule to open in Fall 2009.Â
Mr. Montano’s death is terrible, and whenÂ the official investigations are completed I’m sure we’ll learn that hisÂ death shouldÂ have been prevented.Â I’m particularly troubled that his death happened at my own workplace, and I never heard a peep about it.Â Â When I–somebody who makes a serious effort to recognizeÂ the daily toll of workplace deaths–don’t even know about one inÂ my own backyard, is it any wonder that so few people in the U.S. know that about 15 workers lose their livesÂ everydayÂ from fatal workplace injuries?Â
I was walking out the door this morning heading to GWU, when my husband said,
“did you hear about the worker who was killed at GWU?Â Â It was at oneÂ of its construction sites.”Â
A worker killed at my place of employment and I didn’t know about it??Â Â Worse yet,Â nobody else I work with here at GWU—in an academic department which understands workplace safety and health issues–had heard about it either.Â Â Again, is it any wonder that so few people in the U.S. know that about 15 workers lose their livesÂ everydayÂ from fatal workplace injuries?Â Â
For a Weekly Toll of workers who’ve died on the job, go to http://weeklytoll.blogspot.com/
P.S.Â The general contractor at this GWU construction site, Clark Construction,Â signed a partnership agreement with OSHA’s in May 2007.Â Â Its purpose wasÂ “toÂ heighten safety and health awareness”Â at two major contstructon projects: the Washington National’s baseball team stadium, and anÂ office project atÂ 51 Louisiana Ave. N.W. near the U.S. Capitol.Â Â Hmm…. I didn’t realize that theseÂ partnerhip agreementsÂ covered only particular sites controlled by an employer.Â WhatÂ does differently at these sites that shouldn’t also be done for workers at its other sites?