Worker dies on Deep Rock Connector drive 17 June 2014
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
A 25-year-old laborer has died from serious head injuries following an on site accident in the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector in Indianapolis, USA.
According to project owner, Citizens’ Energy Group, the fatality happened 250ft underground at a location close to where the TBM was operating, 11.25km into what will be a 12.2km drive.
William Isaac Simpson

William Isaac Simpson

Sarah Holsapple, for Citizens’ Energy, told TunnelTalk from the USA: “The incident occurred about 3:15am [local time] on Friday, June 13. The victim, William Isaac Simpson, was working the late shift which started some four-and-a-half hours earlier, at 11 pm. He had been working for the Shea/Kiewit joint venture contractor (SKJV) for a year. Between eight and ten other workers were underground at the time of the incident. Details surrounding Mr Simpson’s death are still under investigation.”
On Monday (June 16) Marion County Coroner’s office ruled that Mr Simpson’s death was caused by “massive crushing blunt force traumatic injury of the head.”
Immediately following the tragedy, an inspection team from Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) performed a site visit to the accident location, but completed their task by the end of the same day and gave the owner and tunnelling contractor the all-clear to resume excavation.
Holsapple said Wednesday: “IOSHA is no longer on site, but are conducting an investigation. We do not know when the tunnel activities will resume. Out of respect to the Simpson family, and to the crews, work is currently shut down.”
Robert Dittmer for the Indiana Department of Labor told TunnelTalk: “IOSHA is investigating the accident. We have no initial findings at this stage and will not discuss the investigation until it is complete, which is standard procedure. IOSHA has no record of any accidents involving Shea or Kiewit in the State of Indiana.
“The investigator was on the scene the same morning of the fatality, and cleared the scene for work to continue. These investigations usually take 2-3 months and will include interviews with any witnesses, supervisors, and the management team, as appropriate. Additionally, the investigator will examine all safety policies, processes and procedures, and documentation. He will obtain police reports and documents pertaining to the accident and any other first responder documentation. He will also obtain a copy of the coroner’s report,” explained Dittmer.
The investigation will result in the issuing of either a Safety Order, outlining safety violations discovered and assessing both penalties and abatement requirements, or a letter that indicates no findings were made as a result of the investigation.
Holsapple for Citizens’ Energy said: “Safety is our top priority on this, and any, job site. Citizens Energy Group and SKJV express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr Simpson.
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