On Thursday, two construction companies in Philadelphia were fined the maximum total of $397,000 for failing to follow “basic safety precautions,”according to FindLaw. Following those basic safety precautions could have prevented a building collapse that killed six people in a thrift store, a federal official commented.
A Salvation Army store on Market Street in the center of Philadelphia was hard pressed as a four story building that was in the process of being demolished collapsed on it.
On Thursday OSHA, The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, announced that it would “issue the stiffest fine possible to the two companies that were tearing down the building. The two companies that were tearing down the building, Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting. Campbell, the lead contractor,was fined $313,000 and S&R Contracting $84,000.”
The assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, David Michaels, told reporters during a telephone press interview, “This case is an egregious case.” Lawyers for both companies were not available for comment.
S&R Contracting’s head, Sean Benschop, who also uses the alias Kary Roberts, is sitting in a jail right now. He is there waiting for a preliminary hearing next month for involuntary manslaughter charges as well a reckless endangerment. He was at the building site at the time of the collapse operating heavy equipment.
Assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, David Michaels, commented, “We would not be here today if two employers that OSHA has cited today had followed very obvious and basic safety precautions.” Michaels goes on to say that public safety was neglected as well as worker safety in the demolition.
The surviving family members have filed their grievances along with the dozen people who were injured in the reckless collapse of the building. Authorities from the city of Philadelphia are investigating the city department that has direct oversight onto demolitions. Also being probed is the department of Licenses & Inspections. An inquiry will be made into the situation while the surviving family members and the injured workers start their legal process.
Image Credit: Find Law