An internal investigation into the fatal accident at the University’s Contemplative Commons project site has found that the construction worker’s death was due to a safety violation on the victim’s part, according to Director of Facilities Management Mark Stanis. The full Hourigan safety report will not be released to the public.
Hourigan is a construction and development firm based in Richmond. The contract worker died last month after falling from the west connector bridge to Ridley Hall. The victim was transported to the U.Va. Medical Center for treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Stanis said the Hourigan report was conducted partially by multiple interviews with staff on site and Hourigan subcontractors. He said the Occupational Health and Safety Administration report — which is still underway and will be released within 60 days — has done the same thing.
Stanis said the finding “wasn’t information that was shocking.” Hourigan has its own safety program and will likely be putting together recommendations for safety moving forward, Stanis said, though they have not yet discussed what those might be with facilities management.
“The safety violation is not something that happens on projects normally, that’s all I can say,” Stanis said. “That’s why this was such an anomaly on Grounds, and that’s why it was even more shocking, I guess — the devastation of someone losing their life like this.
The Contemplative Commons is a current construction site on Grounds located between Bavaro Hall and the Dell Pond. The 57,000-square foot building is expected to be completed in the fall 2023 semester.
Berk Oto contributed to the reporting on this article.