OSHA Cites Contractor in Demolition Fatality

OSHA has cited Formica Construction Co. Inc. of Port Richmond, N.Y., for three willful, three serious, and one other-than-serious violation of OSHA standards with proposed fines of $121,000.

OSHA announced an enforcement case against Formica Construction Co. Inc., a contractor located in Port Richmond, N.Y., in connection with teh November 2014 death of an employee, Delfino Jesus Velazquez Mendizabal, 46, a demolition worker who died when the mezzanine of the former Dana Ford Lincoln dealership collapsed on him, according to the agency's news release.

"This worker's death should never have happened," said Patricia Jones, OSHA's area director for Staten Island. "Had Formica Construction chosen to plan and carry out the demolition correctly, this collapse would not have occurred, and Mr. Mendizabal would not have died."

The release said OSHA inspectors found thhe company did not conduct a required pre-demolition engineering survey to determine the building's stability and, once work had begun, ignored required safety practices by removing load-supporting sections of walls and floors before upper-level sections of the building were demolished and removed. Formica also did not shore or brace the walls and floors against collapse while employees worked inside the building.

OSHA has cited Formica Construction for three willful, three serious, and one other-than-serious violation of OSHA standards with proposed fines of $121,000. "No enforcement action will bring Mr. Mendizabal back to his family, friends and co-workers, but future tragedies can be prevented. Employers doing demolitions should remember this fatal incident, take note of these violations, and follow procedures so that other workers are not killed or injured," said Jones.

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