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Fall victim was wearing safety harness  

Credit:  Written by ERIC WEDDLE, www.jconline.com 4 November 2011 ~~

The Ivy Tech Community College instructor who died Wednesday after falling from a training tower was wearing a safety harness, a college official said Thursday.

Craig Porter, 37, was in the midst of teaching an Ivy Tech student about safety and climbing when for an unknown reason he fell approximately 65 feet to the ground on the Lafayette campus.

He was pronounced dead a short while later at Franciscan St. Elizabeth East hospital in Lafayette. As of Thursday, the Tippecanoe County coroner had not released a cause of death.

Tom McCool, Ivy Tech spokesman, said Porter and the student were each wearing a full-body harness approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for working on wind turbines.

“It’s not like the kind of harness you might see electrical workers using. It is specific to wind turbines, and one harness can weigh as much as 40 pounds with the carabiners and roping attached to it,” he said.

McCool said the campus investigation will look into what went wrong on the tower. The student Porter was teaching had his back turned with Porter fell, he said.

Ivy Tech offers technical certification for wind energy technology, which includes wind turbine maintenance and climbing safety.

OSHA guidelines say a worker on a wind farm, when exposed to fall distances of 6 feet or more, must be protected from falls by a personal fall arrest system, such as a body harness or other measure.

According to a 911 recording released by Lafayette Police Department, the incident was reported at 12:36 p.m. The call lasted 3 minutes and 38 seconds.

On the recording, Lori Pugh, a 911 operator, is heard asking the caller what has happened and to check if Porter is breathing or moving.

“They are trying but we don’t want to move him,” the caller said. “He fell on his back and then rolled over. He does have a pulse.”

At 2 minutes and 45 seconds into the call, the caller says he sees emergency personnel arriving.

On Thursday, Robert E. Dittmer, spokesman for Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the department’s investigation was ongoing but no further information was available.

The Ivy Tech Community College instructor who died Wednesday after falling from a training tower was wearing a safety harness, a college official said Thursday.

Craig Porter, 37, was in the midst of teaching an Ivy Tech student about safety and climbing when for an unknown reason he fell approximately 65 feet to the ground on the Lafayette campus.

He was pronounced dead a short while later at Franciscan St. Elizabeth East hospital in Lafayette. As of Thursday, the Tippecanoe County coroner had not released a cause of death.

Tom McCool, Ivy Tech spokesman, said Porter and the student were each wearing a full-body harness approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for working on wind turbines.

“It’s not like the kind of harness you might see electrical workers using. It is specific to wind turbines, and one harness can weigh as much as 40 pounds with the carabiners and roping attached to it,” he said.

McCool said the campus investigation will look into what went wrong on the tower. The student Porter was teaching had his back turned with Porter fell, he said.

Ivy Tech offers technical certification for wind energy technology, which includes wind turbine maintenance and climbing safety.

OSHA guidelines say a worker on a wind farm, when exposed to fall distances of 6 feet or more, must be protected from falls by a personal fall arrest system, such as a body harness or other measure.

According to a 911 recording released by Lafayette Police Department, the incident was reported at 12:36 p.m. The call lasted 3 minutes and 38 seconds.

On the recording, Lori Pugh, a 911 operator, is heard asking the caller what has happened and to check if Porter is breathing or moving.

“They are trying but we don’t want to move him,” the caller said. “He fell on his back and then rolled over. He does have a pulse.”

At 2 minutes and 45 seconds into the call, the caller says he sees emergency personnel arriving.

On Thursday, Robert E. Dittmer, spokesman for Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the department’s investigation was ongoing but no further information was available.

Source:  Written by ERIC WEDDLE, www.jconline.com 4 November 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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