The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued fines to five contractors following a parking garage collapse in October of 2012 that killed four workers, according to ABC News.
The five-story garage, located on the Miami Dade College campus, collapsed on October 10, 2012. The five contractors were working together on the $20 million project. The workers were building the garage using a method called pre-cast concrete, meaning the concrete pillars were built at a separate location and then erected using cranes.
The collapse is one of the worst construction accidents in United States history, and the body of one worker was not recovered for more than a week on account of the site being too unstable for a rescue crew to search. OSHA cited violations for the contractors failing to properly support and inspect the columns. OSHA also determined that the contractors did not properly follow their project plans. There have been multiple lawsuits filed against the contractors by the victims’ families.
“I think this shows what we’ve been saying all along, that this was an accident waiting to happen,” said Ervin Gonzalez, an attorney representing the family of two of the victims. “Literally, a death trap.”
The OSHA citations should help the lawsuits filed by families of the victims. Proposed fines against the contractors total $38,000. This oversight is unacceptable. When there are multiple contractors contributing to a project, site managers and additional employers must be diligent in ensuring that the workers are not exposed to hazards.
If you have been injured on the job you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits. Call our office at (614) 221-7548 for a free consultation.
Tip of the week: “Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover,” – US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
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