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Construction worker dies after accident at airport

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

A 33-year-old construction worker was involved in a fatal accident, Thursday, at the construction site of the Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to an airport official.

Al Snedeker, Capital Improvement Program public relations manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, said the

accident occurred at 5:20 p.m., and Edgar Rieffel, an employee of Overhead Door Company of Atlanta --a division of D.H. Pace Company, Inc. -- was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He died a few hours later.

Snedeker said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of the U.S. Department of Labor, began an investigation of the incident on Friday, at the construction site.

Nelson Newcomer, executive vice president of D.H. Pace Company, Inc., said Rieffel, who has been with the company for several years, was a commercial installer, and was installing an overhead door product at the international terminal, which is currently under construction.

This is the first work-site fatality the company has experienced since it opened for business, in 1977, he said.

"Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with the family of the employee," said Rex Newcomer, CEO, of D.H. Pace Company, Inc. "The safety of our employees is one of our highest priorities, and our company has a long and distinguished safety history," he added.

Snedeker said the airport is unable to provide any further information, due to OSHA's on-going investigation.

Mike D'Aquino, a spokesman for OSHA, said although the agency has opened an investigation to find the cause of the accident, official policy does not allow the administration to release any information, until the final report is completed.

"It [OSHA] takes up to six months, from the beginning of the investigation, to issue its findings to determine if any OSHA policies were violated," said D'Aquino.

Snedeker said Thursday's incident is the second fatal accident involving a construction worker at the international terminal's construction site since 2007.