The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division has embarked on an investigation into the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) after two separate incidents within two days this past week, in which highway construction workers were killed on the job in northeast Oregon.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP), a 64-year-old worker, Glen McCoy of Sparks, Nevada, an employee of a construction company, was working at installing rumble strips at a paving project on Interstate 84 near Boardman on July 23, when he was run over by a pickup truck that was towing a piece of equipment. The pickup was owned by the same construction company and was being driven by a co-worker. McCoy was pronounced dead later that evening.
That tragedy came a day after an ODOT worked was killed at a work site on state Highway 320 near Echo.
According to OSP, in that incident 54-year-old Donald Kendall was part of an ODOT maintenance crew that was paving Highway 320 on July 22, when an ODOT dump truck slowly backed up and ran over him.
Oregon OSHA is on the scene, and looking at all aspects of these incidents. They are looking closely at how well everyone was supervised and trained, and how well hazards were assessed on the job sites. They will also look closely at the safety protocols that were in place at the time. ODOT has also conducted safety stand-downs since the incidents, to make sure workers are aware of the dangers of their business they’re in. In a statement, ODOT said they hold weekly safety meetings, but they plan to ramp things up even more after this week’s events.