By Dane Steffenson and Melanie Stratton
In the construction industry, precision matters – corners need to be square, lines have to be level and plans must be followed. Following the rules keeps buildings and people safe. But when construction companies cut corners, workers often pay the price.
That is exactly what happened in Jacksonville, Florida, in December 2007. A construction company called Southern Pan thought eliminating basic safety procedures would save time and money. The result? A six-story parking garage came crashing down, killing one worker and injuring 20 others. The worker who was killed, Willie Edwards, was only there that day because he decided to pick up an extra shift to buy Christmas presents for his children.
This horrific tragedy could have been easily avoided.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces construction standards designed to keep workers safe from building collapses like this. To keep a building from collapsing during construction, a process called “shoring” is used, which involves wood or steel beams to help support the weight of concrete and other construction loads.
In violation of OSHA’s construction standards, Southern Pan chose to remove most of the shores from the first two floors of the parking garage, ignoring blueprints that required all shoring to remain from top to bottom until...Click here to read the rest of the blog post.