SALT LAKE CITY — A worker died a day after falling off a ladder at the construction site for a new performing arts center in Salt Lake City.
Richard “Richie” Pierce, 51, fell about 20 feet from a ladder at 0 South Regent Street around 9 a.m. Monday, according to Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay. Pierce was unconscious but breathing when emergency crews arrived. He was transported to a local hospital in serious condition, but died Tuesday as a result of injuries from the fall.
“It’s a solemn occasion and it touches the heart of everybody,” said Layton Construction spokesman Alan Rindlisbacher. “Of course we are most concerned about Richie and the family he has left behind. Our prayers and thoughts are definitely with his wife and his children.”
It couldn't be a tougher day in the industry than when you lose somebody you love and you work with.
Pierce was employed by SME Steel, which is a subcontractor of Layton Construction. He worked as a dedicated steelworker for nearly 30 years, according to his obituary.
The circumstances surrounding the fall are still under investigation. There are about 190 people working at the site, but Rindlisbacher said there were no witnesses to the accident.
Investigators from the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division arrived on scene Tuesday. Asay noted that any kind of fall can be dangerous depending on how a person lands, and said he occasionally sees accidents like this at both construction sites and around homes.
“It couldn’t be a tougher day in the industry than when you lose somebody you love and you work with,” Rindlisbacher said. “When you lose one of those valuable team members to an accident like this, it’s devastating. It’s a blow to our team and we’re all feeling it pretty deeply.”