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Worker is injured at Baldwin House

Authorities say the man, who was not identified, fell part-way through a floor.

Authorities say the man, who was not identified, fell part-way through a floor.

January 13, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A construction worker injured his leg when he fell part-way through a floor Friday morning in the Baldwin House Complex on West Washington Street in downtown Hagerstown. Rescue operations closed a section of the street for more than an hour.

Community Rescue Service Capt. Chuck Singleton said the man was walking on the building's fourth floor when his right leg punched through the wood planks.

The man was still at Washington County Hospital late Friday, but his condition could not be obtained because he was unwilling to release his name, CRS Chief Chris Amos said.

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The first rescuers arrived about 8:45 a.m., Singleton said.

Local fire and state work safety officials both said at the scene that they were not aware of any previous accidents at the site. Safety officials were investigating the incident Friday.

"It is an open investigation right now," said Roger Campbell, acting regional supervisor of the Hagerstown office of Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, an office in the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Campbell said his on-site investigators would interview the injured man once he was released from the hospital.

"Any on-the-job injury is of interest to us, of course," he said.

The worker was an employee of Labor Ready, a national company that provides construction workers on request. Judy Arther, the company's Hagerstown branch manager, confirmed the worker was an employee there, but referred other questions to the company's Washington state corporate office.

A corporate spokesman was not available.

The Baldwin building is under construction as part of the University System of Maryland, Hagerstown education campus. Callas Contractors is handling the first portion of the renovation.

Thomas Ripley, the chief financial officer and safety coordinator for Callas, said Callas' portion of the work is scheduled to be done in the next few days.

Ripley said the worker was part of a team that was removing hardwood floor.

About 10 rescue workers extracted the man, whose right leg was caught in the floorboards.

Ron Horn, battalion chief for the Hagerstown Fire Department, said it wasn't clear what type of injuries the man had suffered.

Horn said he thought the response went well.

"It was everything we've been training to do," he said. "Normally, we're putting out fires. This time we got to use our rescue training."

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