Contractors cited, fined in structure collapse

Emergency personnel tend to one of the construction workers injured when a second floor structure collapsed at a construction site on Hawthorne Avenue near Broadway in Oakland, Calif. on Friday. May 26, 2017. Thirteen construction workers were on the structure at the time of collapse and suffered scraps and bruises. Cement was being poured at the time of the collapse. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Three contractors were fined more than $145,000 for safety violations after a construction site collapse earlier this year sent 13 workers to a hospital, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) said Monday.

Just before 9:35 a.m. on May 26, police and firefighters responded to reports of the collapse at a building under construction in the 300 block of Hawthorne Avenue, just west of Broadway in the city’s Pill Hill neighborhood.

Workers were pouring concrete on the second floor into elevated forms when scaffolding collapsed. Some workers fell from up to 20 feet, landing in “quicksand-like” fresh cement, reinforcing steel, timber framework and tools, officials said.

The injured were taken to hospitals for cuts, bruises and strains. Although no fatalities or major injuries were reported, at least one worker’s injuries required surgery.

A Cal/OSHA investigation found the formwork and vertical shoring system were not properly designed, installed or inspected.

Cal/OSHA issued citations to two subcontractors, Largo Concrete Inc., and N.M.N. Construction, Inc. for $73,365 and 70,320, for not ensuring the formwork and shoring could handle intended loads, not gettin calculations and drawings approved by a California registered civil engineer as required for shorings over 14 feet tall, and not ensuring the shorings were erected on a stable, level base.

A general contractor, Johnstone Moyer, Inc., received citations with proposed penalties of $3,630.

“Significant safety lapses caused injuries that could have been much worse if the workers hadn’t landed in freshly poured concrete,” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said in a statement.

“Employers must identify, evaluate and correct unsafe working conditions and follow all requirements to prevent employee injuries and illnesses,” Sum said.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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