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OSHA launches investigation into crane accident

Family, community mourn death of Boyd Cody

Posted: November 10, 2011 - 1:06am

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fatal industrial accident that killed a Juneau crane operator last week.

Scott Ketcham, area director for the federal OSHA office in Anchorage, said the investigation began last Friday evening, one day after the accident, and it is standard to investigate such cases.

“If there is an accident that involves a fatality, or where three or more employees who are hospitalized overnight, we are required to investigate by our law, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970,” Ketcham said by phone on Wednesday.

A man, later identified by Juneau Police Department as Boyd Cody, 75, was allegedly crushed by a 25-ton crane that he was operating last Thursday. A police investigation found the crane had toppled over on a barge at the Trucano Construction Co. site in North Douglas.

Cody has been an employee of Trucano since 1983, according to office manager Jodi Plante. She described him as a versatile member of the construction company crew that was first established in Juneau in the 1960s.

“Boyd wore many hats,” Plante said in an interview Wednesday, noting he was a truck driver, a mechanic and did carpentry.

His death has been extremely difficult on the eight other staffers at Trucano, Plante said.

“I was in shock,” she said, “I think everybody was. ... We loved Boyd. It’s still very difficult.”

Business owner Doug Trucano echoed Plante’s sentiments.

“I loved that man,” he said. “He was just a wonderful man.”

Empire records show that Cody has close ties to the Trucano family. He was one of the pallbearers for the 2001 funeral of Joe Trucano, who formed Trucano Construction in 1965 with his wife. Doug is Joe Trucano’s son.

Cody was active in the community, especially as a longtime Juneau Archery Club Board member.

“Boyd was on the JAC Board for many years and was a kindhearted and generous person,” a message on the JAC website reads. “He is most known for his work with the Friday Night Kids Night. He will truly be missed.”

Cody is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mabel. Mabel said via email that she would like to express her gratitude to the community for their outpouring of support.

“Boyd spent most of his time working and a majority of the leisure time he did have was spent in helping others,” she wrote. “That is something he truly enjoyed. Boyd touched the lives of countless people with his smile, generosity, helpfulness and constant sense of humor.”

Ketcham said he could not speculate how long the investigation would take, but OSHA is required to issue citations, if any are required, by six months from the date of the accident.

Ketcham also could not comment on what exactly would be investigated in this case, but said, generally speaking, OSHA would be interested to know in any barge accident about whether a plan was in place to safely transfer objects with a crane on the barge, and how the weight of a crane, or any machine, affects the flotation of the barge.

OSHA investigations are usually comprehensive, Ketcham noted, covering everything from ensuring a safety and health program is in place at the company and making sure employees are properly trained and are wearing proper protective equipment. Employees and employers will be interviewed before an evaluation is made.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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