July 25th, 2012 | City

Construction worker electrocuted at new college site

A construction worker was electrocuted at the site of Yale's new residential colleges. He was in critical condition as of Tuesday.
A construction worker was electrocuted at the site of Yale's new residential colleges. He was in critical condition as of Tuesday. Photo by Jacob Geiger.

A construction worker at the site of Yale’s two new residential colleges was electrocuted and hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, according to fire officials.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m Tuesday morning, when the worker, whose name and age have not been made public, was using a mechanical pump in an underground vault, the New Haven Independent reported. He was electrocuted when he touched a piece of the pump, Assistant Fire Chief Ralph Black said.

Two other workers immediately ran out of the vault and dialed 911. Firemen arrived at the scene within three minutes of the call, and Black said said the injured worker did not have a pulse at the time.

The fire crew resuscitated the worker using an automatic defibrillator and CPR, Black told the Independent. He was breathing as an ambulance transported him to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The worker is employed by Turner Construction Company, a multinational construction firm with over $8 billion in annual construction volume. Paul Huntley, Turner’s safety director, deferred comment to company spokesman Gregg Scholler. Scholler could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Turner has shut down the portion of the construction where the injured worker was shocked, and University and city officials were on the scene Tuesday investigating the incident.

Yale spokeswoman Elizabeth Stauderman said the incident was being investigated by the New Haven Police Department, and that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been notified. The University is cooperating fully, she said, and the construction schedule for the site has not changed.

Mark D’Antonio, a spokesman for Yale-New Haven Hospital, said that because the injured worker’s name has not been made public, his condition could not be updated beyond what fire officials initially announced.