Construction worker unhooked safety equipment before fatal fall

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | 6:37 p.m. CDT; updated 10:59 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 26, 2010

COLUMBIA — Larry Embley Jr. was removing metal roofing from the IBM Building at 2810 LeMone Industrial Blvd. when he unhooked the tangled safety equipment that connected him to the roof, according to a release from Design Metal, a company working at the site.

None of the eight employees working in the area saw Embley fall, the release said.

Emergency crews were called at 10:11 a.m., and Embley was transported to University Hospital, where he died at 12:30 pm. He was 46.

Embley is survived by his wife of 11 years, Lynn (Campa) Embley, of Paola, Kan.

Work on the site resumed at 5:30 am. Wednesday, said Carol Newman of Little Dixie Construction Co.

The construction site was inspected on Monday, and Embley had been wearing his safety equipment properly at the time, the release said.

Dale Dickinson, safety director of Little Dixie Construction Co., said everything was compliant with OSHA guidelines when the site was reviewed Monday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an investigation Tuesday after Embley's fall. An OSHA compliance officer will conduct interviews with employees and management this week before filing a report, OSHA Assistant Area Director Jay Vicory said. He said the investigation could last until the end of August.

OSHA records show six safety violations reported at Little Dixie Construction Co. projects since 2000.

Most recently, OSHA issued a violation against Little Dixie Construction Co. on Jan. 1, 2008, for workers not attaching their restraining devices to lifts. OSHA meted out a $1,500 fine, but it was later negotiated down to $500, Vicory said.

Vicory was unable to say if this number of violations is unusually high. Vicory said some companies are inspected than others, resulting in more violations.


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Tony Embley June 1, 2010 | 1:19 a.m.
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