NIH Employee Dies After Falling Through Grate Wednesday Afternoon

Courtesy of NIH

Akwasi Addae, a 45-year-old electrician at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, died when he fell through a grate into an air handling shaft on Wednesday.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) responded to a call on NIH grounds for a report of a man who fell through a grate and into a “vault”, according to WUSA9. The space was described to investigators as seven feet wide, and 30 feet deep. The fatal incident was reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who will look into the cause of the accident and make safety recommendations.

Statement by NIH on Wednesday: “We are deeply saddened to share that Akwasi Addae, a 45-year-old federal employee who was an NIH electrician, died while conducting repair work on the exterior of a building on the NIH Bethesda campus after falling into an air handling intake shaft.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) made the following statement this morning: “The AFGE family mourns the loss of Akwasi Addae, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) electrician and active member of AFGE Local 2419 who died yesterday in a tragic accident on the job. His death is a sobering reminder that countless federal employees put their safety at risk every single day in service to their country – and the need for the strongest health and safety standards for workers everywhere.

Our thoughts and prayers of are with Mr. Addae’s family, friends, and coworkers during this difficult time.”

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