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OSHA fines demolition company $1.2M in fatal garage collapse


A Brockton, Massachusetts-based contractor failed to adequately train its workers on a demolition plan and safety management system, resulting in a worker dying in a floor collapse this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Tuesday.

JDC Demolition Company Inc., while working on the eighth floor of the Government Center garage in downtown Boston on March 26, saw its 11,000-pound excavator and operator fall 80 feet from a partially demolished floor.

OSHA found that on the morning of the collapse, another heavy equipment operator told the foreman they had concerns about the floor’s safety and despite an employee raising safety concerns to the foreman, another employee was assigned to operate the excavator.

That worker, who died on his first day at the job site, never received a safety briefing and was not trained to follow the engineer’s demolition plan, according to OSHA.

OSHA also found that JDC Demolition deviated from the demolition plan by imposing unsafe loads, in the form of heavy equipment, on the partially demolished seventh, eighth and ninth floors. The demolition plan prohibited the placement of heavy equipment on partially demolished floor bays.

As a result, OSHA cited the company for eight egregious-willful violations, two serious violations and one other than serious violation of workplace safety standards and proposed $1.2 million in penalties.

The willful citations address the training and loading violations; the serious and other than serious violations are regarding the inadequate accident prevention program, uncovered floor holes and insufficient recordkeeping.