Concord man was fourth killed on N.H. construction site since May

Monitor staff
Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Concord man was the fourth construction worker killed on a New Hampshire job site since May.

The death of John Davis, 55, this past Saturday in Webster prompted an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is looking into three other construction-related fatalities in recent months, OSHA spokesman James Lally said Thursday.

Those other incidents all occurred in May on job sites outside of Merrimack County. Christopher Hewey, 37, of East Alstead died May 16 in Acworth when a trench he was working in collapsed. George Moran, 70, died the next day in Wolfeboro after falling from a scaffold, and Frederick Wilhelmi, 32, of Hudson died in late May while working for a tree service company.

The Webster Police Department is still investigating the circumstances surrounding Davis’s death in Webster this past weekend. Authorities said Davis died when a construction vehicle he was operating went down an embankment and rolled on top of him.

Workers with Loudon-based F.L. Merrill Construction were paving a driveway at 8 Deer Meadow Road, a private residence, at the time.

The construction company has been cited for dozens of federal workplace violations since 1994, resulting in $45,000 in fines, according to the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. The statewide nonprofit organization was established in 1989 to help unions and communities develop better job conditions for workers.

“Even small construction companies need to make sure their workers have proper safety training and equipment,” Brian Mitchell, director of the coalition, said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to John’s family, friends and co-workers for whom this is not just an article on the news or in the paper, but a life-altering tragedy.”

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)