OSHA has issued violations against 11 of the contractors working on New Orleans' Hard Rock Hotel when it collapsed in October 2019.
The documents include accusations of "willful" and "serious" violations by Heaslip Engineering for various problems with the design of the upper floors of the building, which collapsed five months ago killing two workers. An attorney for the firm has denied any wrong-doing
OSHA released a 125-page on Friday, April 3 detailing the alleged failure of 11 different companies to ensure the health and safety of workers on the job site. That list includes steel contractor Suncoast Projects, which was also accused of actions that could have harmed the structural integrity of the project.
Some of the most alarming findings by the federal agency could be a major factor in why the building collapsed.
OSHA handed down two violations to Heaslip Engineering after their November inspection.
The investigation found the engineering and design of the upper floors of the Hard Rock were unsafe.
According to citation documents, floor beams on the 16th level were not strong enough for the weight they were supporting. And cantilevers, or vertical beams, on the 17th and 18th floors were spaced too far apart and bearing too much weight.
Heaslip Engineering is denying the allegations.
In a statement, an attorney representing the firm wrote:
"Heaslip Engineering has an impeccable record and reputation for providing quality engineering services on hundreds of projects over two decades. Our firm has reviewed the citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and adamantly disputes the findings. We believe OSHA's conclusions are unwarranted, not supported by the facts and beyond the jurisdiction of OSHA's statutory authority. Heaslip unequivocally denies any 'willful' or 'serious' wrongdoing, and will vigorously contest all of the citations through the procedures required by OSHA."
Workers who barely survived the Oct. 12 collapse said they had voiced concerns about safety inside the building for weeks leading up to the collapse, reported WWL-TV in New Orleans.