No violations found in death of worker at N. Charleston Boeing plant

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Office of Occupational Safety and Health said they found Boeing broke no violations in regards to the death of a worker who fell from a scaffolding at the company's North Charleston plant in March.

In a letter from OSHA Compliane Manager Anthony Wilks to Boeing, Wilks said although OSHA did not find any violations, they did make recommendations to make working conditions safer on Cell 90 platforms, which included providing "refresher training for employees" as well as providing lights for control panels for platforms.

Authorities say 38-year-old David Priester was critically injured after falling from a Cell 90 mobile platform at the North Charleston plant on March 18 and died as a result of his injuries.

According to officials, Priester was working with three other employees on a Cell 90 platform, which is a 44 foot in length platform. Officials say the four employees were doing general assembly and bagging the aft portion of the plane at the time of the incident.

A report by OSHA says at one point during work, an employee noticed that a slider, a working platform that slides against the body of the plane, was not going all the way against the craft and created a 20 inch gap between two sliders, #1 and #2.

OSHA officials say as work continued on the plane, an employee, who had just finished placing a piece of plastic over a seam, noticed out of the corner of his eye Priester falling between slider #1 and #3.

Boeing released the following statement following the accident:

A Boeing South Carolina teammate was injured during an industrial accident in the Composite Fabrication area of the Aft Body building on Monday, March 18, and died on March 29. This is obviously a very difficult and tragic incident, and we are deeply saddened at the loss of our teammate.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and many friends. Boeing has been working with the family to provide support and assistance since the accident occurred. Out of respect for the family's wishes, Boeing has chosen not to release the teammate's name publicly.

Boeing is providing counselors and the support of our Employee Assistance Program to help co-workers cope with the loss, while also meeting with teammates to discuss the accident and further emphasize workplace safety.

The safety and well being of our teammates is a top priority at Boeing. In keeping with our comprehensive safety plan and internal processes, we are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the incident and will take immediate action on any corrective actions that are required.

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