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Fri July 30 2021

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Multiple firms fined over fatal New Orleans collapse

6 Apr 20 A total of 11 US businesses have been cited for health and safety violations in the wake of a fatal collapse at a Hard Rock hotel site in New Orleans, USA.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the engineering firm, general contractor, steel erector and eight subcontractors in connection with the collapse. Collectively, the companies face US$315,536 in penalties.

Three workers suffered fatal injuries and 18 other workers suffered serious injuries in the partial building collapse, which happened in October 2019.

OSHA’s investigation determined that Heaslip Engineering LLC failed to adequately design, review or approve steel bolt connections affecting the structural integrity of the building, and issued one wilful violation for the failure. OSHA cited Citadel Builders LLC, the site’s general contractor, for three serious violations related to inadequate egress from the structure. Steel erection contractor Suncoast Projects LLC was cited for failing to maintain structural stability of building.

Other subcontractors were cited for serious violations related to emergency egress training, inadequate egress, fall hazard training and safety hazards.

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“Employers must adhere to safety and health requirements to protect all workers on the jobsite,” said principal deputy assistant secretary of labour for occupational safety and health Loren Sweatt. “Failing to recognise hazards and implement necessary safety measures resulted in a preventable tragedy.”

OSHA issued citations to Heaslip Engineering LLC, Citadel Builders LLC, Suncoast Projects LLC, HUTCO Inc, King Company LLC, Regional Mechanical Services LLC, Rush Masonary Inc, REYCO Inc, SS Construction and Consulting LLC, Southern Services and Equipment Inc and F Mata Masonry LLC.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

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