By Marjorie Nesin
---- — An unidentified man working a city construction job for a private contractor on Perkins Street was transported to the hospital Friday morning after a small piece from a saw snapped off and lodged in his neck.
The Fire Department’s Rescue Squad rushed the man to Beverly Hospital, with the 2 inch by 1/8-inch piece of metal saw still in his neck shortly after 10:30 a.m.
The debris that struck the man was a bit of diamond that lined the blade of a stone-cutting circle saw being used by a fellow employee of C. Naughton Corp. construction nearby, according to Fire Captain Phil Harvey.
The man was conscious and alert when paramedics arrived on scene at Perkins Street, but paramedics were still concerned about the foreign object in the man’s neck.
“Essentially at the speed that it’s traveling, it’s a little dart,” Harvey said. “It wasn’t a huge wound or anything but it hit him in the right spot for us to be concerned.”
Harvey said firefighters, when they heard the piece had struck the man’s neck, initially called to check if a MedFlight helicopter would be available. But, because of weather the helicopter service was down and firefighters decided to transport the man to Beverly Hospital by ambulance.
A representative at C. Naughton Corp. out of Weymouth did not return calls for comment Friday on the worker’s condition or on the cause of the accident.
The man’s coworkers told paramedics that having a piece of a saw chipping off like the can happen after some wear and tear, though it is unusual that the piece strikes a person.
”Apparently, it’s something that happens,” Harvey said. “They get some wear and tear on them, they heat up, and these little pieces will fly off.”
A U.S. Dept. of Labor collection of records that dates back to 1996, however, shows C. Naughton Corp. has had no reported Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations in its file.
The construction crew had been hired to work on city water and plumbing pipes as part of the city’s combined sewer overflow project, according to Department of Public Works Director Mike Hale.
The combined sewer overflow — or CSO — project, required by a modified consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection, began in 2006 and has cost roughly $25 million to $30 million to date.
Most recently, crews like the one working Friday have been separating the water flows so that they no longer mix along Mount Vernon, Perkins, Staten, Prospect, Marchant, Warner, Spring and Main streets, as well as Herrick, Spring, and Winchester courts.
The city began work on the sewers based on the U.S. Clean Water Act, which mandates that no wastewater flow into the harbor, ocean and estuaries.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.