Electrical worker falls to his death at new arena in Detroit

A worker at the Little Caesars Arena construction site fell 75 feet and died this morning in downtown Detroit.

DETROIT, MICH. - An electrical worker died this morning after falling 75 feet at the new Little Caesars Arena construction site, Detroit Deputy Fire Commission Dave Forell said.

"We were dispatched about 8:03 this morning on the report of a fall victim," Forell said. "He'd fallen approximately 75 feet and he was in cardiac arrest."

Forell said coworkers had begun CPR on the man and emergency crews continued it as they transported him to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Forell said the man was not wearing fall protection gear when emergency crews arrived, but that it could have been removed by coworkers who were administering CPR.

"We don't know what happened," Forell said. "Was he working with anyone else? We don't know. But that kind of fall is not usually survivable."

Forell said the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.

Ryan Maieabach, CEO of Barton Mallow, a company involved with the construction project, issued a brief statement this morning.

"A serious incident occurred at the job site today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual and his family. We are gathering more information and additional details will be provided when appropriate."

The death comes almost 15 years after another worker died during the construction of nearby Ford Field. 

Gjon Gojcaj, a 42-year-old father of five from Macomb Township, died July 30, 2002 while painting trusses at Ford Field. He was more than 120 feet up in a Condor 150S aerial work platform, which tipped over when he tried to move it.

MIOSHA conducted a 9-month investigation and issued citations and penalties against Brockman Equipment, Inc. for $286,000, and Thomarios Painting for $270,000.

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© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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