Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several new citations to a construction company that was remodeling a building when it collapsed, killing one employee and trapping another inside the wreckage for several hours. According to an industry news report, the building collapsed back in December of last year, but OSHA’s investigation has only recently been completed.
Evidently, the company instructed employees to take down two load-bearing walls without specifying how to install a temporary support structure for the rest of the building. As the employees knocked down the walls, the building collapsed. One man was killed in the collapse, and another woman was trapped for several hours before emergency responders were able to free her.
In the most recent citations, OSHA claims that the company “willfully ignored precautions,” which directly resulted in the death of the employee. The OSHA report also indicates that the company failed to take necessary precautions in conducting an engineering survey prior to beginning the work. These citations were in addition to a previous round of citations that was issued earlier this year. The company was fined a total of more than $200,000, and it may face additional liability should the employees and their families file subsequent claims.