A Brooklyn contractor was aware that the steel structure he was erecting was “unstable,” according to OSHA, which found numerous hazards contributing to the fatal collapse last fall in Brighton Beach, NY.
SP&K Construction faces $77,800 in penalties for hazards found during an OSHA citation into the incident on Nov. 8, 2001 which killed one worker and sent four others to the hospital. SP&K Construction was erecting a multistory building at 2929 Brighton Ave. on Nov. 8, 2011, when the front bays of the third, fourth and fifth floors collapsed as concrete was poured onto the fourth and third floors.
"This employer clearly knew the steel erection was incorrect and unstable," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
An inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office found that the structural stability of the floors was not maintained during the steel erection process and the exterior wall framing was not constructed to maintain structural stability during the erection process. Among other deficiencies, the structural frame was inadequately braced and secured, and was laterally unstable; the exterior walls were not plumbed and properly aligned; exterior stud walls were not properly connected to header members; all metal c-joists were not secured as required; and nails were used in place of screws to secure steel decking to c-joists in some locations.
Additionally, fall protection training was not provided to employees working on the scaffolds and on the unprotected edges of the third, fourth and fifth floors, exposing them to falls of 10-40 feet. The scaffold had not been properly braced and had not been inspected for defects by a competent person with the knowledge to identify and authority to correct hazards.
SP&K received a citation for a willful violation involving the lack of structural stability; citations for eight serious violations involving the lack of fall protection, training and competent person inspections; and citations for two other-than-serious violations involving an incomplete injury and illness log.