The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the United Staging and Rigging company after a 34-year-old worker tasked with building a lighting tower for Boston's First Night festivities was killed.

According to Jon Sharpe, owner of United Staging in Haverhill, Brandon McSweeney was working on Dec. 28 in Boston's Copley Square when a 3,500-pound ballast “dislodged from a forklift and landed on his chest.”

He was pronounced dead at the scene, Sharpe said.

“We are devastated by (the) tragic accident that occurred...” Sharpe said in a prepared statement. “The health and safety of our employees is our No. 1 priority and we are working with the Boston Police (Department) and OSHA to determine how this could have happened. Our focus and prayers are with our employee, his family and co-workers.”

As is standard with OSHA investigations, the agency determines if workplace safety standards were violated. The investigation is expected to be completed within six months, a spokesperson said.

McSweeney, who lived in Sherborn, was remembered by his family in a statement as a “good-natured man of quiet strength, solid intelligence and perpetual kindness.”

McSweeney's family — including parents Jay and Sheryl and siblings Russell, Jayson and Emily — plans to establish a memorial scholarship fund in his name.

— Allison Corneau


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