One man’s dead after an accident at a worksite in Jasper County. Colfax Police Chief Jon Huggins says routine maintenance work was being done on the water tower, the only tower in the town of 2500 people about 25 miles southwest of Newton. There’s been a crew in town for several days sandblasting and repainting the water tower. At about 10:50 this morning, police got a call saying a man had fallen. He was dead at the scene and Occupational Health and Safety inspectors are expected to arrive sometime Friday to look over the worksite. The tower’s been empty for a week as they worked on it. He doesn’t think most folks have noticed the inconvenience, thanks to pumps keeping water in the pipes, though there’d be a risk if a major fire put heavy demand on the system. Chief Huggins says the man had a safety harness on — but it doesn’t appear it was connected to anything. “Now, whether there was a hook or something that failed when he fell that’s still up on the water tower, or whether he was improperly using the safety equipment we have no way of knowing until investigators actually go up and take a look,” Huggins says. The project was to have been done by Monday so the investigation into this incident is likely to push the completion and refilling of the water tower back to the end of next week.
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