LYNN — A construction worker was seriously injured Friday after a large section of iron reinforcement bars fell on top of him at an Oxford Street work site.
Marcello Ramos, 38, of Medford was taken by helicopter to Boston Medical Center where he was listed as of 4 p.m. Friday in “fair” condition. The hospital’s website defines fair condition as when a patient’s “Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.”
The accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. and involved what Lynn Deputy Fire Chief Arthur Richard described as a “pad” constructed of criss-crossed lengths of iron reinforcing bars, commonly called rebar, each roughly 1 inch in diameter.
The pad was suspended above a hole roughly the size of a tennis court located on the site’s Munroe Street side.
“They were lowering it into the hole and it just let go,” Richard said.
Richard said approximately 20 workers in the hole were able to scramble out of it except for the injured man, who was pinned by the pad against one side of the hole.
Firefighters used a heavy mechanical saw to cut away the rebar and free the injured man. He was transported by Atlantic Ambulance to North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus two blocks from Oxford Street and onboard a helicopter for the flight to Boston by 8:45 a.m.
“He was alert and oriented,” said Richard.
Work stopped at the site following the accident and all but a handful of workers left for the day. Located between Munroe and Oxford streets, the site is being developed by The Procopio Companies as a 10-story building with underground parking.
Crews had spent the past several weeks working rebar and pouring concrete for pillars and a foundation.
Michael Procopio, principal and vice president for Saugus-based Procopio, said the injured worker is an employee of project subcontractor Raycon Construction, located in Braintree. Attempts to reach a Raycon representative for comment Friday were unsuccessful.
“Our hearts go out to the worker and his family. As the developer we take safety very seriously. We are cooperating with investigators,” Procopio said.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent two inspectors to the project site Friday morning. OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald said inspectors will determine if workplace safety standards were adhered to at the project site. He said an investigation could take “a period of weeks,” but said work will probably be allowed to proceed during the investigation.
“We will gather information and determine if there were violations or not,” Fitzgerald said.
He said fines could be levied if violations were determined to have occurred.
Washington Street resident Leroy Ashwood heard sirens and saw a large crowd ringing the site’s fence. He was relieved to see the worker survived the accident.
“I thought the worst, but then I saw him when they brought him out,” Ashwood said.