Contractor in intensive care after falling from hotel roof

Man suffers from multiple breaks after dropping three stories

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

A Juneau contractor was seriously injured Monday in a fall from the roof of a hotel under construction next to the Douglas Bridge.

The contractor, Garrett Past of Sound Construction, was in intensive care this morning in a Seattle hospital.

Post fell three stories, firefighters said. Investigators said he was not wearing a safety harness at the time of the fall.

Past suffered broken ribs, a broken leg and bruised lungs, said his daughter, Ale Deseo of Juneau. He also suffered from internal bleeding, Deseo said today.

Past, 45, was installing a roof and siding when he fell, said Don Madsen of Madsen Development Inc. Madsen, reached in Palm Springs, Calif., said Sound Construction was acting as a subcontractor on the 12-room Greatland Hotel project.

Past was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital about 8:40 a.m. Monday, said Regional Affairs Coordinator Marijo Toner. He underwent surgery there and was medevaced to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He arrived there at 9:45 p.m. Monday.

Past's wife, Anna E. Chavolla, and daughter Anna Schroth, were with Past in Seattle today.

Past was in critical condition when he arrived in Seattle, Deseo said, and she expected him to be hospitalized for two weeks.

Past's condition has been upgraded to serious today, said Larry Zalin, Harborview news media representative.

``He's still in intensive care, so we don't do prognosis; it's too early,'' Zalin said.

Al Dwyer, director of labor standards and safety with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Monday's situation was the second reported at the Greatland Hotel site within a month. OSHA could not investigate further, Dwyer said, because the in

cident was not within their jurisdiction.

``The person who got hurt was a subcontractor-owner,'' Dwyer said. ``Owners can put themselves in harm's way if they want to'' and OSHA has no jurisdiction in any accidents that result.

``I understand he wasn't wearing a safety harness, but his employees were,'' Dwyer said.

About a month ago OSHA had a complaint from a passerby that someone was working off a wood platform held up by a forklift without either guardrails or safety harness. They checked into the situation, and found the person in danger was a subcontractor-owner.

``I don't know if it was the same guy, but it's kind of interesting to have two owner situations,'' Dwyer said.

The Greatland Hotel is expected to be completed at the end of the summer, Madsen said.

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