Thursday, October 28, 2004

Airport to join inquiry into worker's maiming



By Jim Hannah
Enquirer staff writer

HEBRON - Airport officials said Wednesday that in addition to any federal or state investigations, they would probe an accident at a runway expansion project that critically injured a North College Hill electrician.

A spokesman for the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport said the airport is trying to determine how electrician John Boggess was shocked Tuesday when installing new lights for the project.

Attorney Phil Taliaferro of Covington, who represents Boggess, said his client was shocked after reaching into a manhole. Boggess, who remained in critical condition at University Hospital Wednesday evening, had to have most of his left arm amputated because of severe burns and may lose the fingers on his right hand.

The state Environmental & Public Protection Cabinet investigates alleged violations of Occupational Safety & Health Administration regulations in Kentucky.

"We don't know what we are going to do until the investigation is complete; OSHA does an incredible job of investigating and has been successful in preventing future problems," Taliaferro said. "We believe OSHA will investigate this, and we will cooperate with them, and they will be able to talk with John Boggess at the critical care burn unit."

Airport spokesman Ted Bushelman said the airport will aggressively investigate. Boggess works for Unicustom of Fairfield, a subcontractor helping to build the runway expansion.

Boggess' wife, Cindy, said she was upset state officials charged with enforcing workplace safety laws were not immediately notified of her husband's injuries.

"I cannot imagine that safety rules were complied with in light of his serious injuries," she said. "No one from the airport has contacted us, and I am concerned that all of the evidence may not be preserved."

Environmental & Public Protection Cabinet officials said they are only required to be notified if there is a death or more than two people are transported to the hospital.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com




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