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Worker's Arms Broken In Accident At University

Sep 26, 2003 | Hampshire Gazette

An employee working for a contractor completing a construction project at the University of Massachusetts broke both his arms in a recent accident on the job.

The employee, John Lawrence, of All State Boiler & Construction of Farmington, Conn., was conducting pressure testing on the steam-line system on Infirmary Way Sept. 18 when he was injured, said Barbara Pitoniak, a UMass spokeswoman. He could not be reached for comment this morning.

Richard Pare, president of All State, said the incident remains under investigation by both the company and its insurance provider.

Pare said the man's injuries came as the result of a fall that occurred while he was climbing a ladder to exit a manhole while a steam tunnel was being tested. Apparently, said Pare, a plug failed and the air pressure blew the plug into Lawrence, who then fell off the ladder.

Pitoniak said the worker was transported by Amherst Fire Department ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, for treatment. After being hospitalized for a few days, he was released this week and is now recovering at home.

Pare said he expects the man, who was one of about 12 employees on the site, to be back on the job in about six weeks.

Pare said his company takes safety seriously. The company has a full-time safety manager on staff and a safety-incentive program, and all employees attend safety-training sessions.

"All State has an excellent safety record over the last 30 years," Pare said. "Our goal is to have no accidents."

According to All State's Web site, the company has worked for the last eight years on the UMass campus installing 1,600 feet of underground utility tunnels. The tunnels distribute high-pressure steam, as well as chilled water and electrical wires throughout the campus.

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