This summer, a tragic worksite accident resulted in a building collapse that killed six people and injured 14 in downtown Philadelphia. The memory of this tragic accident haunts many that are local to the area and left many with questions of how it could happen. According to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the building known as “Hoagie City” collapsed as a result of lower floors being demolished before the upper floors.
The report also cited Griffin Campbell (doing business as Campbell Construction) and Sean Benschop (doing business as S&R Contracting) for a variety of safety violations, including three willful violations after the June 5th collapse. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels, stated that “Campbell Construction and S&R contracting sacrificed worker and public safety through the deliberate neglect of demolition safety fundamentals.” Dr. Michaels went on to state that the accident was sadly one that could have been prevented.
OSHA’s report went on to note several violations of demolition construction standards, including that Campbell Construction removed supports that were critical to the building’s structure as well as removed sections of lower-level floors before the upper-levels, which is against OSHA’s standards. These violations are cited as “willful violations” by OSHA which are violations committed with knowing, voluntary or intentional disregard for the law’s requirements or with indifference to worker safety and health.
In addition to the improper demolition, Campbell Construction was cited by OSHA for their failure to provide employees with important, necessary equipment and training related to working on the jobsite. These serious violations are issued when there is a substantial probability of serious injury or death resulting from a known hazard. In all the two companies face up to $397,000 collectively for their safety violations alone. The two companies have 15 days to respond to the citations.
The memories of this terrible accident will not quickly go away, nor should they. We send our sincere thoughts of healing and hope for the families and injured affected from this terrible accident. We are pleased to hear OSHA has cited and fined the companies responsible for this terrible worksite accident.