If you want to keep your construction business running smoothly, without any hiccups or bumps, it is crucial that you stay up to date on all safety regulations, standards, and practices. It is essential that you and your employees are following all proper safety procedures, not only for their safety but for the safety of others as well. When safety procedures are not followed and corners are cut to either save time or cut costs, lives are lost, fines are paid, and trauma is inflicted.

The Scaffolding Collapse at Pleasants Power Stations

Willow Islands, April 27, 1978, fifty-one (51) construction workers lost their lives after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed. The cause? After the cable hoisting buckets of concrete failed, the crane being used to lift them suffered severe strain, causing it to fall forward, inside of the tower. At this point, the current day’s work, as well as the previous day’s work begin to collapse, falling inwards. Concrete, wooden beams, and metal scaffolding collapsed, taking all fifty-one workers to their deaths.

Resulting Investigation

The very same day, OSHA’s investigation team arrived on the scene to investigate what had occurred and why it had happened. Upon their investigation, OSHA uncovered a number of safety issues that had been ignored.
  1. Scaffolding that had been attached to concrete had not been given enough time to properly cure.
  2. Bolts holding the scaffolding were both missing and of the insufficient grade.
  3. There was only one access ladder, preventing individuals from escaping and causing escape restrictions.
  4. The concrete hoisting system had been improperly modified without supervision and inspection by a certified engineer.
  5. Contractors rushed the construction.
By the end of the investigation, OSHA had cited Willow Island contractors for a total of 20 violations. Willow Island contractors settled the cases set before them for a total of $85,000.

Why Safety Inspections are Important

If it is not clear by now, let us be blunt. Safety inspections save lives and at the very least prevent lawsuits against your business. If you cut corners on equipment, safety inspections, and following proper procedures, you are not only putting your workers at risk, but your business as well. The contractors working on the Pleasants Power Station were lucky to escape with a hefty fine and not prison time for negligence. Nowadays, not only would the fine shadow $85,000, but there would be a much larger possibility of prison time.

Why Foy Safety?

If you have safety concerns regarding your business, Foy Safety Consulting Inc is here to help. We are trained professionals who will work with you to meet your business’s individual needs. We will point out areas of concern and instruct you on the most cost-efficient ways of remedying them. Foy Safety will work with you, not against you, and will help ensure your business is up-to-date on all the latest safety regulations and laws.