Recent Fatalities Reminder to Eliminate Demolition Hazards

08.02.2014
HR & Safety

New training resources for construction demolition industry

On June 20, a construction worker taking down an old Blockbuster Video building in New Jersey was trapped and killed when the last standing wall of a building under demolition collapsed on top of him. Six months earlier, a 25-year-old construction worker in Chicago was struck and killed by pieces of falling concrete while conducting renovations on a shopping mall. These tragedies follow the June 5, 2013, collapse of a four-story building undergoing demolition in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured 14. These deaths could have been prevented. To help prevent these tragedies and save lives, OSHA has developed new educational resources and training for the construction demolition industry.

The agency recently launched an updated demolition website to address the hazards common in demolition operations and the safety measures that can be taken to prevent them. The updated demolition page provides information on applicable OSHA standards, hazard assessments, measures that can be taken to prevent injuries and illnesses before site work begins, and a link for stakeholders to share stories about demolition safety.

From 2009 to 2013, OSHA issued nearly 1,000 citations for violations of its construction demolition standards. The most common citation issued was for failure to conduct an engineering survey to determine the condition of the structure prior to demolition. This includes determining whether an unplanned collapse of the building or any adjacent structure would injure those working in the vicinity.

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