Fatal Collapse Caused by Overloaded Storage Bins

An OSHA investigation discovered the cause of a collapse at International Nutrition Inc.'s Omaha facility that killed two workers and injured nine others.

The Jan. 20 structural collapse of International Nutrition Inc.'s Omaha facility was caused by overloading nine storage bins on the building's roof level, an investigation by OSHA has found. As a result, OSHA has cited the company with one willful, one repeat, and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse

The investigation determined there was a structural failure of the east side truss after bins that it supported were loaded with an excess of limestone. The extra weight caused the bins to collapse three floors into the center of the facility in about 30 seconds.

Two workers, one age 53 and the other 47, were fatally injured when the bins collapsed. Four workers were trapped in the rubble of the building after the collapse and were rescued by the Omaha Fire Department's ladder truck rescue team. They and five other workers were transported to the hospital with injuries.

"International Nutrition's decision to overload these bins directly led to the deaths of these two workers and the injuries sustained by nine other employees," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Families lost loved ones because International Nutrition did not follow the basic safety procedures that would have prevented this senseless loss of life."

OSHA has proposed penalties of $120,560 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after its investigation into the collapse.

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