- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a contractor and a construction labor staffing company approximately $214,000 for safety violations that preceded a Sioux Falls, SD, building collapse that killed one worker in December 2016, according to KDLT News. A second investigation into the cause of the collapse is still underway.
- The agency fined Hultgren Construction nearly $100,000 and staffing company Command Center $114,000. It also issued citations to both companies for allegedly failing to train their workers in safety procedures and failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment, as well as for unsafe use of scaffolding and ladders for the work being conducted at the Copper Lounge building job site.
- Hultgren said it is reviewing the citations, and Command Center said it will appeal both the fine and citations, as it claims it only provided workers and did not have a hand in job site conditions.
The fines levied in the Copper Lounge incident reflect OSHA's new penalty structure, a 78% increase that took effect in August of last year. As part of the 2015 budget bill, OSHA and other federal agencies were ordered to bring their penalties in line with the Consumer Price Index. This was the first fine increase for OSHA since 1990.
OSHA also issued a substantial fine against the contractors involved in the collapse of a Philadelphia building undergoing demolition back in 2013. The agency fined Campbell Construction $313,000 and its subcontractor, S&R Contracting, $84,000 for their part in the accident, which killed six and injured 14. Campbell and S&R were demolishing a building when a wall fell onto the Salvation Army thrift store building next door.
Company owners are now serving time in prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and causing a catastrophe. The victims and their families successfully sued the Salvation Army, the architect and others for their roles as well.