Two companies cited for safety violations in deadly Ohio plant collapse

Ohio

MANCHESTER, OH (WOWK) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two Michigan-based companies for multiple safety violations connected to a collapse at a demolition project site in Adams County, Ohio that killed two men.

Based on the investigation, the OSHA cited general contractor Adamo of Detroit and SCM Engineer Demolition Inc. of East China were cited for violations that include failing to inspect the site on a regular basis to detect any potential hazards related to the demolition process such as weakened or deteriorated floors, walls or loose material, as well as violations of the general duty clause.

“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.”

On Dec. 9, 2020, the Killen Power Generation Station’s building unexpectedly collapsed. Two workers died when steel beams fell on top of them, and three others were injured in the collapse. The men who died were identified as 42-year-old Doug Gray of Greenup County, Kentucky, and 47-year-old Jamie Fitzgerald of Boyd County, Kentucky.

Gray’s body was found Saturday, Dec. 12, three days after the collapse. Adamo confirmed on Jan. 8 that Fitzgerald’s body was recovered from the site after the company said in late December that it could “take weeks” to find his body to “ensure the safety of the recovery crews.”

According to OSHA, the companies allegedly allowed employees to continue working under “hazardous conditions” without adding means to steady the structure such as shoring or bracing. The organization also says the companies allegedly failed to train the workers on identifying potential hazards.

OSHA says it has proposed penalties for Adamo of $181,724 for “one willful, repeat, serious and other-than-serious safety violations,” and penalties for SCM Engineer of $12,288 for three serious violations. The companies have 15 days from the time they receive the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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