OSHA fines Michigan contractors after fatal demolition collapse

ConDig (27-May-21).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined two Michigan-based contractors after a demolition collapse of a power plant killed two workers.

The agency said that general contractor Adamo of Detroit faces proposed penalties of $181,724 for one willful, repeat, serious and other-than-serious safety violations. SCM Engineering Demolition Inc. of East China faces penalties of $12,288 for three serious violations.

OSHA cited both contractors for multiple safety violations on the demolition project, including violations of the general duty clause and failing to inspect the site regularly to detect potential hazards resulting from the demolition process, such as weakened or deteriorated floors, walls and loosened material.

It also concluded that the companies allowed employees to continue working under hazardous conditions without adding shoring, bracing, or other means to steady the structure, and failed to train them on identifying potential hazards.

The Killen Power Generation Station collapsed unexpectedly in December and its steel beams fell on and killed two workers employed to demolish the facility – a laborer cutting steel and a truck driver preparing to move the scrap metal off-site.

“Some of the most dangerous construction projects are those that involve demolishing buildings,” said OSHA area director Kenneth Montgomery in Cincinnati. 

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer protected their workers with proper planning, training and appropriate personal protective equipment and by complying with OSHA standards.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Last month, OSHA fined a Florida-based framing and sheathing contractor $61,575 for repeat fall violations on a project in the Jacksonville area.

In March, OSHA fined a Cleveland-based contractor $73,533 after a 14-year-old boy working on a roof without required fall protection suffered critical injuries when he fell 20-feet to the ground.

In February, OSHA fined a Missouri-based plumbing contractor $299,590 for two repeated violations of trenching standards. 

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