Home Depot worker injured

The perfect safety record for construction of the new Home Depot suffered its first flaw Thursday.

Richard Osbourne, a worker for Seattle-based Rainier Floors, sustained head injuries after the hose he was guiding to pour concrete became plugged. The hose whipped into his head, sending him to the ground.

“The pump machine got plugged and when it cut loose, it hit him in the head,” said Mark Soptitch, Oak Harbor fire chief.

Crews transported Osbourne to Whidbey General. He was released Thursday night, said Project Manager Steve Crocker.

When emergency responders arrived, they had to navigate the steel rebar that latticed the area for the new floor. Soptitch even received a pair of cement shoes for his efforts.

Crocker said that this was the first accident at the site since construction began at the Oak Harbor location last summer. The site has very stringent safety regulations, he said.

Each subcontractor must submit a written outline of its safety requirements before it can begin work. Representatives from each subcontractor must also attend weekly safety meetings. In addition, a safety auditor has made at least six site visits, Crocker said.

“Safety programs are key, and they all have them, but accidents do happen,” he said.

The new home-improvement store is expected to open April 28 and will employ approximately 125 people.

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