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Accident occurs Wednesday morning at Syracuse University’s Goldstein Auditorium
Accident occurs Wednesday morning at Syracuse University’s Goldstein AuditoriumMay 24, 2006Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
John St. Germain, 49, a worker involved in the replacement of the stage lift in Goldstein Auditorium in Syracuse University’s Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center, was injured in a Wednesday morning accident.
St. Germain, an employee of Syracuse-based J.P.W. Riggers & Erectors Inc. and a resident of New Woodstock, N.Y., was involved with two co-workers in the second day of dismantling the existing stage lift to make way for a new lift. The stage lift is a mechanical platform measuring 19 feet across by 10 feet deep at the front of the stage that can be raised to stage level or lowered into a pit depending on the production needs of events in the auditorium.
At the time of the accident, St. Germain was in the pit as a portion of the lift was being unfastened. The lift shifted on a horizontal axis, swung toward St. Germain and pinned him against a concrete wall in the pit. He was trapped for about five minutes as co-workers came to his aid, using a hydraulic jack to push the lift away so he could be extracted and treated.
St. Germain was treated at the scene and transported to University Hospital with head injuries. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had stabilized and was listed in critical condition.
“The thoughts and prayers of the Syracuse University community are with Mr. St. Germain and his family during this difficult time,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, who met with St. Germain’s family today at University Hospital. “We will continue to receive updates on Mr. St. Germain’s condition, and it is our hope that he makes a full and complete recovery from this terrible accident.”
Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) were on the scene Wednesday morning investigating the accident, with the cooperation of SU’s Office of Design and Construction, Safety Department and Department of Public Safety; the general contractor for the project, Hayner Hoyt Corp.; and the subcontractor, J.P.W. Riggers & Erectors Inc.
By early afternoon, O.S.H.A. inspectors had completed their on-site investigation, returned control of the work site to the University, and given clearance for the project to continue. The work site has been closed temporarily. According to SU’s Office of Design and Construction, work is expected to resume Friday or early next week.