Why is OSHA Investigating a Demolition Company?
During the demolition of the old AEP Muskingum River Plant in Beverly, a demolition CEO died and another worker was injured in an industrial accident. Workers at the site were trying to dismantle an old conveyor belt in the plant before demolition. The housing for the belt line collapsed, causing the accident.
The demolition company, Adamo Group. has had run-ins with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the past. In 2011, OSHA penalized the company for two serious safety violations. The investigation into this accident is still underway.
How Can You Make a Demolition Site Safe?
The incident at the AEP Muskingum River Plant involved an old conveyor belt that should have been assessed prior. All hazardous material present at the work site must be factored into the scheduling and the risks of moving the hazardous material properly assessed prior to the demolition.
Demolition sites can be particularly hazardous working environments. However, employers still have a responsibility to keep workers safe. According to OSHA, the inherent dangers that come with demolition work can be controlled and even eliminated when employers make the proper plans, provide the necessary protective equipment, train their workers and comply with all OSHA safety standards, such as:
Complete an engineering survey before the demolition, which should explain the structure of the condition and the probability of it collapsing
Create a fire prevention plan
Create an evacuation plan
If necessary, have Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) in place
Assess the structural instabilities
Brace or shore the floors and walls
Most often, demolition sites do not use an engineering survey, lack fall protection, improperly brace or shore the walls and improperly test or remove hazardous materials. However, demolition companies have a responsibility to make sure a demolition job goes off without a hitch and to do that, they must make sure safety hazards are eliminated.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC is an Ohio workers’ compensation law firm that fights for workers who have been injured on the job.