Construction worker dies at arts center

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2005

A construction worker died Thursday after falling 35 feet from scaffolding while working at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

Robert Simon, 40, of Jarvisburg, N.C., was working to remove scaffolding from the rear of the building at 301 N. Saratoga St. when the accident happened around 11:20 a.m., said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

Simon died at the scene.

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A handful of Simon’s coworkers clustered around the former high school appeared stunned, watching as emergency officials struggled to save the construction worker. They declined to comment to the media.

The Occupational Safety and Heath Administration is investigating, standard practice when one dies during an industrial accident, said Capt. Jim Judkins, spokesman for the Fire Department. Typically, the agency looks into the safety practices of the accident victim’s employer, he said. The employer’s name was not available.