Site should have been se­cured, says town of­fi­cial

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

The top of­fi­cial with the Town of Car­bon­ear says a crew of pub­lic works em­ploy­ees did not fol­low proper safety pro­to­cols dur­ing an in­fra­struc­ture re­pair project on Bemis­ter’s Hill ear­lier this month.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis said the di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works, Brian O’Grady, met with “out­side staff ” to en­sure that the proper pro­ce­dure is fol­lowed in the fu­ture for se­cur­ing a work site.

“ What you wit­nessed per the photo pro­vided is not con­sid­ered by the town to be a safe work pro­ce­dure and the site should have been se­cured,” Davis wrote in a state­ment to The Com­pass. “It is un­for­tu­nate that this oc­curred.”

An em­ployee with The Com­pass pho­tographed the scene on Bemis­ter’s Hill in Car­bon­ear on Sept. 16, dur­ing the noon hour.

A pub­lic works crew had ex­ca­vated a car­sized hole in the road, ap­par­ently to re­pair a wa­ter or sewer line. While there were sev­eral traf­fic cones placed around the site, there were no traf­fic warn­ing signs, de­spite the fact this was at the bot­tom of a very steep hill.

What’s more, the site was com­pletely un­su­per­vised when a staff mem­ber with The Com­pass walked by, and there was no safety fenc­ing around the hole, which was quite deep and fill­ing with muddy wa­ter.

It ap­pears the crew had left for lunch, leav­ing their equip­ment — and the hole — unat­tended.

The Com­pass pub­lished the photo in its Sept. 21 edi­tion. Town of­fi­cials did not re­spond to e-mails and a phone mes­sage prior to dead­line.

Davis e-mailed a state­ment to The Com­pass on Sept. 20.

She said the safety of the pub­lic and staff is a pri­or­ity for the Town of Car­bon­ear, and ev­ery ef­fort will be made to en­sure that safe work prac­tices and pro­ce­dures are main­tained.

“ Thank you for bring­ing this to our at­ten­tion,” she wrote. “It is for­tu­nate that an in­ci­dent did not oc­cur and now we have an op­por­tu­nity to take cor­rec­tive ac­tion.”

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