The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that when the Killen Power Generation Station’s building collapsed unexpectedly on Dec. 9, 2020, its steel beams fell on and killed two workers employed to demolish the facility – a laborer cutting steel and a truck driver preparing to move the scrap metal off-site.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the multi-employer project and cited two Michigan companies – general contractor Adamo of Detroit and SCM Engineering Demolition Inc. of East China. OSHA cited both for multiple safety violations on the demolition project, including violations of the general duty clause and failing to inspect the site regularly to detect potential hazards resulting from the demolition process, such as weakened or deteriorated floors, walls and loosened material.
OSHA also determined that the companies allowed employees to continue working under hazardous conditions without adding shoring, bracing, or other means to steady the structure, and failed to train them on identifying potential hazards.
“Some of the most dangerous construction projects are those that involve demolishing buildings,” said OSHA Area Director Kenneth Montgomery in Cincinnati. “This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer protected their workers with proper planning, training and appropriate personal protective equipment and by complying with OSHA standards.”
OSHA proposed penalties of $181,724 to Adamo for one willful, repeat, serious and other-than-serious safety violations. SCM Engineering faces penalties of $12,288 for three serious violations.
Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
According to WLWT Television, Adamo released a statement last week addressing the findings. “The company has received the citations and is in the process of reviewing them. The company fully cooperated with OSHA at all times in the post-accident inspection of this very unfortunate incident.
“Adamo does not agree with the citations and has contested that there was a violation and will be communicating with OSHA regarding an informal resolution of the citations. We do not believe it is appropriate for anyone to discuss the citations while that process is proceeding. Finally, the company was at all times and continues to be committed to the safety and health of its employees and other persons at this project,” said the company.