May 10, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Onondaga, NY – The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the Otis Elevator Company $35,000 for violations that contributed to the death of a repairman last May.
Christopher J. Hamelinck, 53, was doing maintenance work in an elevator shaft at a nursing home in this Syracuse suburb when he was pinned by an elevator coming down from an upper floor. OSHA cited five “serious” violations, saying that Otis allowed workers to do maintenance in elevator hoistways and pits without cutting off power to the elevators, and that it hadn’t given Hamelinck proper training. The company is contesting the citations and the fines. A trial is scheduled for December. Hamelinck, who was married with two sons, was a member of the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 62, and refereed and coached youth football. Read more