AZ Demolition Company Fined For Workplace Fatality IncidentFebruary 22, 2016
The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined a demolition company $21,000 for an incident that caused a workplace fatality. The same incident also caused another worker to suffer life-threatening injuries. Both workers were on a job site for Taylor’s Demolition and Recycling, Inc., a Tucson-based demolition and reclamation firm. The workplace fatality incident involved a wall collapsing on the two workers during a road-widening project.
Details of the Workplace Fatality Incident
The project involved the demolition of a building on the north side of Tucson. During the demolition, a wall fell on two workers, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition. The workplace fatality occurred when Eric Taylor, the company’s foreman and president, was using an excavator on the building’s west side. The two workers were positioned on the east side when the building’s support structure collapsed. Tucson firefighters responded to the emergency call. One worker was declared dead at the scene, while another was taken to a local medical center.
Violations Cited in Workplace Fatality Incident
According to the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Taylor’s Demolition was fined for violating several safety rules leading up to the workplace fatality at the job site. The violations included the failure to instruct workers on how to avoid dangerous conditions, as well as allowing workers into areas where collapsing walls or falling debris could pose a significant safety risk. A state investigator found that the foreman did not have a demolition plan for the building, which also may have contributed to the workplace fatality.
Did Lack of Training Lead To Workplace Fatality Incident?
The worker who survived the workplace fatality incident told state investigators that he had been on the job for less than a month. He stated that the supervisor told them that he wanted to the building completely demolished by the end of the day. He also told officials that he and his fellow workers did not receive the training required to handle the project, including any safety training that may have helped them avoid the workplace fatality that occurred.
Lack of Records Mentioned in Workplace Fatality Incident Report
The surviving worker also said that the supervisor did not provide them with a demolition plan for the project. While Mr. Taylor admitted to not having a formal demolition plan in place, his attorney maintained that he provided workers with a two-page safety document. The document, according to the attorney, was created as a means to condense the lengthy state-published safety manual. The workplace fatality investigation also revealed that Mr. Taylor did not keep records on safety meetings, equipment maintenance, or mandatory job training.
Source: Arizona Daily Star
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