Following the March workplace death of Boeing employee David Priester, the South Carolina Occupational Safety & Health Administration (SCOSHA) has released a report of its findings with included recommendations.
Priester and three other Boeing employees had been working on the Cell 90 platform at the company's North Charleston factory and were putting plastic in the seams of the aft portion of a 787 plane. They had just come back from their last break at 9:30 p.m. and they were finishing up before their shift was over in one hour.
One of the four workers pulled the platform's sliders away from the fuselage so the team could rotate the aft portion of the plane, but when they moved the sliders back, one of them wouldn't extend to the fuselage. This left a gap in the platform that all of the employees saw. They continued on with their work, but Priester ended up accidentally falling into the gap. He fell about 18 feet to the concrete floor below. First responders were on the scene within five minutes, but Priester died 11 days later at the Medical University of South Carolina.
SCOSHA investigated the incident and found that although it was extremely tragic, Boeing had no safety violations at the North Charleston site. The investigators did, however, make recommendations that Boeing South Carolina should provide refresher training for employees who work on the platform that Priester fell from, and also provide lights on a control panel to alert workers when there's an issue with the platform's sliders.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Priester. We hope that Boeing will be able to institute SCOSHA's recommendations and create a safer work environment to avoid future deaths, injuries, and South Carolina workers' compensation claims.