Contractors cited in Philadelphia building collapse that killed six
OSHA demolition standards violated
The fatal June, 2013 collapse of a four-story building in Philadelphia has resulted in OSHA citations against the contractors hired to demolish the building.
Griffin Campbell, doing business as Campbell Construction, and Sean Benschop, doing business as S&R Contracting, were cited for three willful per-instance violations, following the incident, which killed six people and injured 14.
Campbell Construction was demolishing the building known as the "Hoagie City" while S&R Contracting was operating the building's interior walls and floors.
"Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting sacrificed worker and public safety through the deliberate neglect of demolition safety fundamentals," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
Company removed structural supports
On the three days leading up to the collapse, Campbell Construction removed critical, structural supports for the wall that collapsed – something prohibited by OSHA demolition standards, which call for the lateral support of walls more than one story high
Campbell Construction also removed parts of the lower floors prior to the removal of the upper floors, again, contrary to the OSHA standards. Additionally, the company failed to provide an engineering survey as promised. As a result, Campbell Construction has been cited for three willful, egregious violations for each day that it left the wall without sufficient lateral support, and two willful violations alleging the failures to demolish the building from the top down and to have an engineering survey by a competent person on the possibility of collapse prior to starting the demolition.
No head or fall protection
Campbell Construction was also cited for failing to provide:
- hard hats for employees when there was a possible risk of head injury
- fall protection for employees working on surfaces at least six feet high
- training on fall hazards
- adequate personal fall arrest systems.
Campbell Construction also failed to inspect all stairs periodically and to maintain them in a clean, safe condition. S&R Contracting was cited for two serious violations for failing to protect employees from falling through holes and to provide fall hazard training.
The citations can be viewed here www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CampbellConstruction90726711112013.pdf* and www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SeanBenschop_dbaS_RContracting91698111142013.pdf*.
OSHA proposed penalties of $313,000 for Campbell Construction and $84,000 for S&R Contracting.