OSHA Cites Two Companies in Philadelphia Building Collapse

The contractors could have prevented it, had they not ignored basic demolition standards, Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said Nov. 14.

OSHA has issued citations to Griffin Campbell, doing business as Campbell Construction, and Sean Benschop, doing business as S&R Contracting, for safety violations, including three classified as willful, in the June 5, 2013, building collapse that killed six people and injured 14 in downtown Philadelphia. Campbell Construction was demolishing a four-story building known as the "Hoagie City" building next door to a Salvation Army Thrift Store located at the 2100 block of Market Street, while S&R Contracting was operating the building’s interior walls and floors.

The proposed penalties total $397,000: $313,000 for Campbell Construction and $84,000 for S&R Contracting.

"Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting sacrificed worker and public safety through the deliberate neglect of demolition safety fundamentals," said Michaels. "This tragic incident could and should have been prevented."

During the three days prior to the collapse, "Campbell Construction removed critical, structural supports for the wall that collapsed," according to the federal agency. This violates OSHA demolition standards that prohibit removing lateral support walls more than one story high; Campbell Construction also removed parts of the lower floors prior to the removal of the upper floors, also a violation, and it did not provide an engineering survey as promised, OSHA says.

Campbell Construction has been cited for three alleged willful, egregious violations for each day that it left the wall without sufficient lateral support and two willful violations alleging the failures to demolish the building from the top down and to have an engineering survey by a competent person on the possibility of collapse. S&R Contracting has been cited for one willful violation.

The citations are available here and here.

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