Six months after the fatal collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami, Florida, OSHA has announced citations against multiple contractors.
The catastrophic failure of the bridge on March 15 occurred before the structure was even officially open, just days after crews dropped a 950-ton span in place. One bridge worker and five motorists were killed. Eight other people – five of them employees - were injured.
The bridge was designed to give Florida International University students a walkway that would allow students to go over – not across – a busy highway.
Five companies collectively received seven violations, totaling $86,658 in proposed penalties:
OSHA cited Figg Bridge Engineers Inc., a civil and structural engineering company; Network Engineering Services Inc. (doing business as Bolton Perez & Assoc.), a construction engineering and inspection firm; Structural Technologies LLC (doing business as Structural Technologies/VSL), specializing in post-tensioning in bridges and buildings; Munilla Construction Management LLC, a bridge and building construction company; and The Structural Group of South Florida Inc., a contractor specializing in concrete formwork.
OSHA’s investigation determined that the companies failed to protect workers when indications of a potential bridge collapse were evident. Violations included exposing employees to crushing and fall hazards; and allowing multiple employees to connect to an improperly installed lifeline.
Employers failed their employees
“Collectively, these employers failed to take appropriate action and provide the necessary protections to their employees while they were working on the bridge on the day it collapsed,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt A. Petermeyer.