OSHA fines demolition contactor $49K in NJ airport hangar collapse

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  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a citation for one willful safety violation to New Jersey demolition contractor Catanzaro & Sons Enterprise (CATCO Demolition Services) in connection with an airport hangar collapse and has fined the company $49,000.
  • OSHA said it began its inspection after a hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, NJ, collapsed during demolition on Sept. 9, injuring four workers.
  • According to OSHA, inspectors found that CATCO Demolition Services strayed from the approved demolition plan and made unauthorized cuts to several I-beams, undermining the structural integrity of the members of the hangar as employees worked inside.

“By not following the approved demolition plan, CATCO Demolition Services left its employees vulnerable to unnecessary risk,” Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany area office, said in a statement. “Employers must provide employees with a safe working environment; anything less than that is unacceptable.”

Demolitions are some of the most dangerous operations in construction. One of the most high-profile, recent demolition accidents was the Philadelphia building collapse in 2013 that killed six people. Aside from being charged the contractors crimmally, OSHA also levied fines and issued citations to demolition contractor Campbell Construction, as well as subcontractor S&R Contracting. The agency also fined Campbell $313,000 and S&R $84,000.

In August of this year, safety violators will most likely see their fines increase 80% or more when OSHA raises its fine levels for the first time since 1990.

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